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Guy Ndjeng

 Also know as “Land Change”.

 Refers to the human modification of earth’s terrestrial


 Has emerged as a prominent area of scientific research

known as “Land-change science”.

 Land-change science investigates the physical/biological

cover of a land surface in relation to human activities and
external factors.
 Composed of multiple interacting sub systems
 water
 Vegetation
 Bare soil
 Climate
 Human activities
▪ Agriculture
▪ Construction initiatives
▪ Hydrology
▪ Etc……
 Modeling interactions/reactions between sub systems.

 Modeling dynamic processes

 Representing time and change (continuous, discrete..)
 Capturing space-time information

 Providing a framework to qualitatively assess real world


 Can these models be verified and validated?

 Equation-based models
 Requires simplified assumptions to achieve analytical or
computational results.
 Often based on empirically implausible assumptions to
stabilize the overall system (equilibrium).

 System models
 Do not simplify assumptions but uses time as step to
allow feedback between components.
 Operates at a very coarse spatial and temporal
 Cellular models

 Cellular Automata model (CA)

 Markov model
 Cellular models offer greater flexibility for representing
spatial and temporal dynamics based on stationary
transitions probabilities.

 Have proven to be useful for modeling ecological

aspects of LUCC, but they face a challenge when
incorporating human decision making.
 Comprise of multiple, interacting agent situated within a
model or simulation environment

 Relationship between agents is specified, linking to other

agent and/or entities within a system.

 Agents behavior can be scheduled to take place

synchronously or asynchronously.
 Are well suited to represent autonomous human
interactions agents.
 Autonomy
 Heterogeneity
 Active
 Goal oriented
 Reactive
 Bounded rationality
 Interactive/communicative
 Mobile
 Adaptive/learning
 Consists of
 Cellular model to represent and replicate ecological/
biophysical phenomena.

 Agent based to represent human interactions in the

decision making process.
 Schelling segregation model
 Natural resource management
 Study how herdsmen search for suitable grazing locations in the
dry season and negotiate with farmers for the use of their land

 Agricultural economics
 Farmers investment decision in new technologies /impact of
governmental policies

 Urban simulation
 Archeology
 Modeling emergent phenomena
 Aggregate outcomes that cannot be predicted by examining
the element of the system in isolation but rather by
considering the system as a whole.

 Flexibility
 Alternative causes can be built in and outcomes can be
tested and explored.

 Modeling complex interactions.

 Appropriate model framework
 Inherently suited to simulating people and objects in a very
realistic way. i.e. densities
 Remains a complex task since the nature of the system
being modeled may not convey qualitative/quantitative

 Interpretations of the simulation output may not reflect

real world phenomena.

 Might not be appropriate for the wide range of users.

 Considers systems at a disaggregated level, thus agents

can potentially involve the description of many agent
attributes, behaviors and interactions within the modeled
 Explanatory approach
 Does not seek to predict future behavior of the system
nor provide a real world replication of the studied

 Strives to explore and generate hypotheses, new


 Places emphasis on some details of a phenomenon and

ignoring others in the hope of generating empirical
relevant insights.
 Descriptive approach
 More concerned with the empirical validity and /or
predictive capacity.
 Used for extrapolation of trends, evaluation of scenario,
and prediction of future systems states.

 May be constructed to replicate a variety of goals:

▪ Landscape composition and function
▪ Examine the impact on biophysical environment of policies that
influence socioeconomic behavior.
 Computer simulation can deal more easily with parallel
process and processes without well defined order or
actions than systems of mathematical equations.

 Computer model can include heterogeneous agents, while

this is usually difficult with mathematics.

 Programming languages are more expressive than most

mathematical techniques.
 Open source
 NetLogo
 Respast
 Testfatsion
 Obeus
 Proprietary/licenses
 AgentSheets
 Geospatial Analysis, A comprehensive guide to principles,
techniques and software tools.

 Wikipedia (