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Space Matters: Extending Sensitivity Analysis to Initial Spatial Conditions in Geosimulation Models

Raimbault, J; Cottineau, C; Le Texier, M; Le Nechet, F; Reuillon, R; (2019) Space Matters: Extending Sensitivity Analysis to Initial Spatial Conditions in Geosimulation Models. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation , 22 (4) , Article 10. 10.18564/jasss.4136. Green open access

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Abstract

Although simulation models of socio-spatial systems in general and agent-based models in particular represent a fantastic opportunity to explore socio-spatial behaviours and to test a variety of scenarios for public policy, the validity of generative models is uncertain unless their results are proven robust and representative of 'real-world' conditions. Sensitivity analysis usually includes the analysis of the effect of stochasticity on the variability of results, as well as the effects of small parameter changes. However, initial spatial conditions are usually not modified systematically in socio-spatial models, thus leaving unexplored the effect of initial spatial arrangements on the interactions of agents with one another as well as with their environment. In this article, we present a method to assess the effect of variation of some initial spatial conditions on simulation models, using a systematic geometric structures generator in order to create density grids with which socio-spatial simulation models are initialised. We show, with the example of two classical agent-based models (Schelling's model of segregation and Sugarscape's model of unequal societies) and a straightforward open-source workflow using high performance computing, that the effect of initial spatial arrangements is significant on the two models. We wish to illustrate the potential interest of adding spatial sensitivity analysis during the exploration of models for both modellers and thematic specialists.

Type: Article
Title: Space Matters: Extending Sensitivity Analysis to Initial Spatial Conditions in Geosimulation Models
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.18564/jasss.4136
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.18564/jasss.4136
Language: English
Additional information: All work published in JASSS is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
Keywords: Space, Initial conditions, Sensitivity, Agent-Based Models
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10087289
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