Spatial Sensitivity Analysis: Reviews, Applications, and Frontier Approaches

A special issue of ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information (ISSN 2220-9964).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2021) | Viewed by 534

Special Issue Editor

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, Environment, and Spatial Sciences, Michigan State University, Geography Building, 673 Auditorium Rd, East Lansing, MI 48824, USA
Interests: (spatial) agent-based modeling; sensitivity analysis; model development; spatial analysis; complex urban systems
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Spatial models are imbued with uncertainty and, hence, model development should explicitly address these uncertainties. One way to understand how uncertainty affects model behavior and, in consequence, its results, is to apply sensitivity analysis (SA) as part of model evaluation. Using SA in model development allows for a better understanding of which inputs drive the variability of model outcomes, and to what extent. In recent years, the topic of SA has gained more recognition among the spatial modeling community. However, the number of studies reporting on SA is still limited. The applied methods are borrowed from other disciplines, including engineering, decision science, ecosystem modeling, and hydrology, among others. These methods were not developed to handle spatial inputs (maps). At the same time, the increased use of big data in model building reinforces the importance of comprehensive handling of model uncertainty.

The purpose of this Special Issue of IJGI is to provide a compendium of the latest advancements in applying SA in the context of spatial modeling, as well as reviewing different SA methods that can be applied to handle geospatial data. The topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Position papers on the roles of uncertainty and sensitivity analysis in geographical modeling;
  • Handling spatial inputs and big data in model evaluation;
  • Sensitivity analysis versus model validation;
  • Reviews of the state-of-the-art methods;
  • Applications of sensitivity analysis of spatial empirical models, including, but not limited to land use and land cover change, urban systems, habitat suitability, ecosystems, sustainability, and disease spread;
  • Methods of SA explicitly developed for spatial models—agent-based models, cellular automata, multicriteria evaluation, optimization, and other modeling approaches;
  • Sensitivity analysis and design of experiments
  • Sensitivity versus scenario analysis.

Other topics that address sensitivity analysis of spatial models are also welcomed.

Prof. Dr. Arika Ligmann-Zielinska
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1700 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.


  • sensitivity analysis
  • spatial modeling
  • uncertainty
  • model development
  • model evaluation
  • validation
  • spatial analysis
  • complex systems

Published Papers

There is no accepted submissions to this special issue at this moment.
Back to TopTop