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.

Summary and Outlook

Summary and Outlook

Chapter Outline

This chapter reflects on the current state of the art of agent-based modelling and discusses factors that may shape the future of this discipline. Specifically, we will look at the key challenges for developing robust agent-based models of geographical systems and discuss some potential solutions. We argue that we need to make progress on these challenges if these models are to be used to offer insight into key societal challenges, such as climate change, urban growth and migration.

12.1 Introduction

The intention of this book has been to provide a primer for agent-based models and geographical information systems. As such, we hope that through the chapters we have highlighted how agent-based models can be used to study geographical systems, and ...

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