Sustainable urban planning and management require reliable land change models, which can be used to improve decision making. The objective of this study was to test a random forest-cellular automata (RF-CA) model, which combines random forest (RF) and cellular automata (CA) models. The Kappa simulation (KSimulation), figure of merit, and components of agreement and disagreement statistics were used to validate the RF-CA model. Furthermore, the RF-CA model was compared with support vector machine cellular automata (SVM-CA) and logistic regression cellular automata (LR-CA) models. Results show that the RF-CA model outperformed the SVM-CA and LR-CA models. The RF-CA model had a Kappa simulation (KSimulation) accuracy of 0.51 (with a figure of merit statistic of 47%), while SVM-CA and LR-CA models had a KSimulation accuracy of 0.39 and −0.22 (with figure of merit statistics of 39% and 6%), respectively. Generally, the RF-CA model was relatively accurate at allocating “non-built-up to built-up” changes as reflected by the correct “non-built-up to built-up” components of agreement of 15%. The performance of the RF-CA model was attributed to the relatively accurate RF transition potential maps. Therefore, this study highlights the potential of the RF-CA model for simulating urban growth.
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