Agent Based Modelling for spatial systems
I am a spatial (GIS) agent-based modeler i.e. modeler that simulates the impact of various individual decisions on the environment. My work is mainly methodological i.e. I develop tools that make agent-based modeling (ABM) easier to do. I especially focus on developing tools that allow for evaluating various uncertainties in ABM. One of these uncertainties are the ways of quantifying agent decisions (i.e. the algorithmic representation of agent decision rules) for example to address the question of “How do the agents decide whether to grow crops or rather put land to fallow?”. One of the methods I developed focuses on representing residential developers’ risk perception for example to answer the question: “to what extent is the developer risk-taking and would be willing to build new houses targeted at high-income families (small market but big return on investment)?”. Other ABM uncertainties that I evaluate are various spatial inputs (e.g. different representations of soil erosion, different maps of environmental benefits from land conservation) and various demographics (i.e. are retired farmers more willing to put land to conservation?). The tools I develop are mostly used in (spatial) sensitivity analysis of ABM (quantitative, qualitative, and visual).
Postdoctoral Research Associate at the CyberGIS Center for Advanced Digital and Spatial Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Andrew Crooks is an Associate Professor with a joint appointment between the Computational Social Science Program within the Department of Computational and Data Sciences and the Department of Geography and GeoInformation Science, which are part of the College of Science at George Mason University. His areas of expertise specifically relate to integrating agent-based modeling (ABM) and geographic information systems (GIS) to explore human behavior. Moreover, his research focuses on exploring and understanding the natural and socio-economic environments specifically urban areas using GIS, spatial analysis, social network analysis (SNA), Web 2.0 technologies and ABM methodologies.
GIS, Agent-based modeling, social network analysis
are related to interoperability and conflation models in geospatial analysis and integrated modelling applications, particularly in the context of spatial data infrastructures such as GEOSS. This translates to a focus on geospatial statistics, geospatial patterns, outbreak detection and geospatial data mining in general, but also to data quality and uncertainty propagation principles in relation to geoworkflows connected to/using web services. Didier’s research centres on environmental agro-ecological geospatial models, and public health and spatial epidemiology applications. (see website)
My experience is diverse, with research in spatial analyses and GIS, ecosystem modeling, landscape ecology, database management, biogeographical relationships of birds and plants, species/habitat relationships, wildlife and pastoral livestock mobility, spectroscopy, cluster analysis, and telemetry techniques. Research projects are ongoing in Colorado, the contiguous US, Kenya, Mali, and Tibet.
I am strongly interested in ecological modeling and complex system and truly enjoyed working with a variety of tools to uncover patterns in empirical data and explore their ecological and evolutionary consequences. My primary research is to conduct research in the field of ‘ecological complexity’, including the development of appropriate descriptive measure to quantify the structural, spatial and temporal complexity of ecosystem and the identification of the mechanism that generate this complexity, through modeling and field studies.
Currently investigated is how biological characteristics of invasive species (dispersal strategies and demographic processes) interact with abiotic variables and resource distribution to determine establishment success and spread in a complex heterogeneous environment (Individual based modelling integrated with GIS technologies).