This is the era of Big Data and computational social science. It is an era that requires tools which can do more than visualise data but also model the complex relation between data and human action, and interaction. Agent-Based Models (ABM) - computational models which simulate human action and interaction – do just that. This textbook explains how to design and build ABM and how to link the models to Geographical Information Systems. It guides you from the basics through to constructing more complex models which work with data and human behaviour in a spatial context. All of the fundamental concepts are explained and related to practical examples to facilitate learning (with models developed in NetLogo with all code examples available on the accompanying website). You will be able to use these models to develop your own applications and link, where appropriate, to Geographical Information Systems. All of the key ideas and methods are explained in detail: • geographical modelling; • an introduction to ABM; • the fundamentals of Geographical Information Science; • why ABM and GIS; • using QGIS; • designing and building an ABM; • calibration and validation; • modelling human behaviour; • visualisation and 3D ABM; • using Big Geosocial Data, GIS and ABM. An applied primer, that provides fundamental knowledge and practical skills, it will provide you with the skills to build and run your own models, and to begin your own research projects.

Modelling Human Behaviour

Modelling Human Behaviour

Chapter Outline

This chapter explores the most common approaches by which researchers incorporate human behaviour into agent-based models. We explain why it can be necessary to model human behaviour and discuss the main considerations that the researcher needs to be aware of when developing behaviour rules for an agent-based model. We present an overview of the two main approaches: mathematical and conceptual cognitive models. We supplement this discussion with two case studies that provide examples of how these approaches can be implemented. The chapter finishes with a discussion of some of the thorny issues that researchers need to be aware of when attempting to simulate behaviour within agent-based models.

7.1 Introduction

Imagine how difficult physics would be if electrons could think. (Murray ...

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