THE USE OF AGENT-BASED MODELS IN REGIONAL SCIENCEA DissertationPresented to the Faculty of the Graduate Schoolof Cornell Universityin Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy byManabu “Mark” KimuraMay 2002
The Use of Agent-Based Models in Regional Science by Mark Kimura
The use of computer simulations could allow us to answer the types of questions in Regional Science that are too complex to be solved by analytical methods. It has been, however, rare to use simulations in…
The use of computer simulations could allow us to answer the types of questions in Regional Science that are too complex to be solved by analytical methods. It has been, however, rare to use simulations in the field due to the lack of computing power, researchers’ skills and precedents, in spite of the fact that the premise of Regional Science is the presence of geography, which is often highly complex in the real world. Agent-based modeling, which is a leading method in the study of Complex Systems, is proven an effective technique in natural science and has been adapted in some fields of the social sciences as well. This study explores the use of agent-based models to simulate spatial agglomeration, which is one of the main topics in Regional Science. A customizable general spatial agglomeration model is constructed and tested. The results show that the model offers realistic spatial patterns that are consistent with the Rank-Size Rule with proper choices of transport cost of economic agents and carrying capacity of space. It is also shown that the model is capable of handling changes in the attributes of space such as pollution and resources in a consistent manner. Furthermore, the model can describe propagation and complex geography in the same way as other attributes of space. It is proven that agent-based models can indeed deal with the questions that have been considered intractable in the past.