Simulating spatiotemporal dynamics of urbanization with multi-agent systems-A case study of the Phoenix metropolitan region, USA

Guangjin Tian, Yun Ouyang, Quan Quan, Jianguo Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Urbanization is a human-dominated process and has greatly impacted biodiversity, ecosystem processes, and regional climate. To understand the socioeconomic drivers of urbanization and project future urban landscape changes, multi-agent systems provide a powerful tool. We develop an agent-based model of urban growth for the Phoenix metropolitan region of the United States, which simulates the behavior of regional authorities, real estate developers, residents, and environmentalists. The BDI (Beliefs-Desires-Intentions) structure is employed to simulate the agents behavior and decision models. The heterogeneity of agents is reflected by adjusting parameters according to the agents' beliefs, desires and preferences. Three scenarios, baseline, economic development priority and environmental protection, are developed and analyzed. The combination of multi-agent system and spatial regression model is employed to predict the future urban development of the Phoenix metropolitan region. Landscape metrics are used to compare the spatial patterns of the urban landscape resulting from different scenarios in different times. In general, with the rapid urban expansion, the shape of urban patches will become more regular as many of them become coalesced. The spatial analysis of urban development through modeling individual and group decisions and human-environment interactions with a multi-agent systems approach can enhance our understanding of the socioeconomic driving forces and mechanisms of urban development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1129-1138
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Modelling
Volume222
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 10 2011

Keywords

  • Landscape metrics
  • Multi-agent systems
  • Scenario analysis
  • Spatiotemporal pattern of urbanization
  • The Phoenix metropolitan area

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecological Modeling

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