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A dynamic spatial model of conflict escalation

Baudains, P; Fry, HM; Davies, TP; Wilson, AG; Bishop, SR; (2016) A dynamic spatial model of conflict escalation. European Journal of Applied Mathematics , 27 (3) pp. 530-553. 10.1017/S0956792515000558. Green open access

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Abstract

In both historical and modern conflicts, space plays a critical role in how interactions occur over time. Despite its importance, the spatial distribution of adversaries has often been neglected in mathematical models of conflict. In this paper, we propose an entropy-maximising spatial interaction method for disaggregating the impact of space, employing a general notion of ‘threat’ between two adversaries. This approach addresses a number of limitations that are associated with partial differential equation approaches to spatial disaggregation. We use this method to spatially disaggregate the Richardson model of conflict escalation, and then explore the resulting model with both analytical and numerical treatments. A bifurcation is identified that dramatically influences the resulting spatial distribution of conflict and is shown to persist under a range of model specifications. Implications of this finding for real-world conflicts are discussed.

Type: Article
Title: A dynamic spatial model of conflict escalation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1017/S0956792515000558
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0956792515000558
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Conflict, Differential Equations, Spatial Modelling
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Security and Crime Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > Dept of Mathematics
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/1472410
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