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Systems 2015, 3(4), 348-377;

A Modular Modelling Framework for Hypotheses Testing in the Simulation of Urbanisation

Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University College London, London W1T 4TJ, UK
UMR 8504 Géographie-cités and The Institute of Complex Systems (ISC-PIF), Paris 75006, France
Faculty of Geoscience, University of Lausanne, Lausanne CH-1015, Switzerland
UMR 6266 IDEES, CNRS, University of Rouen, Rouen 76000, France
Department of Geography, University Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris 75005, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Koen H. van Dam and Rémy Courdier
Received: 25 August 2015 / Revised: 30 October 2015 / Accepted: 24 November 2015 / Published: 27 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Agent-Based Modelling of City Systems)
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In this paper, we present a modelling experiment developed to study systems of cities and processes of urbanisation in large territories over long time spans. Building on geographical theories of urban evolution, we rely on agent-based models to 1) formalise complementary and alternative hypotheses of urbanisation and 2) explore their ability to simulate observed patterns in a virtual laboratory. The paper is therefore divided into two sections : an overview of the mechanisms implemented to represent competing hypotheses used to simulate urban evolution; and an evaluation of the resulting model structures in their ability to simulate—efficiently and parsimoniously—a system of cities (between 1000 and 2000 cities in the Former Soviet Union) over several periods of time (before and after the crash of the USSR). We do so using a modular framework of model-building and evolutionary algorithms for the calibration of several model structures. This project aims at tackling equifinality in systems dynamics by confronting different mechanisms with similar evaluation criteria. It enables the identification of the best-performing models with respect to the chosen criteria by scanning automatically the parameter space along with the space of model structures (the different combinations of mechanisms). View Full-Text
Keywords: system of cities; ABM; simulation; former soviet union; equifinality; multimodelling system of cities; ABM; simulation; former soviet union; equifinality; multimodelling

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Cottineau, C.; Reuillon, R.; Chapron, P.; Rey-Coyrehourcq, S.; Pumain, D. A Modular Modelling Framework for Hypotheses Testing in the Simulation of Urbanisation. Systems 2015, 3, 348-377.

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