Participatory evaluation of agent-based land-use models


May 20, 2011 - Author: James Millington, David Demeritt, Ra├║l Romero-Calcerrada

Journal or Book Title: Journal of Land Use Science

Keywords: agent-based model; participatory research; model validation and model uncertainty; LUCC; model evaluation

Volume/Issue: Vol. 6, Nos. 2-3

Page Number(s): 195-210

Year Published: 2011

A key issue facing contemporary agent-based land-use models (ABLUMs) is model evaluation. In this article, we outline some of the epistemological problems facing the evaluation of ABLUMs, including the definition of boundaries for modelling open systems. In light of these issues and given the characteristics of ABLUMs, participatory model evaluation by local stakeholders may be a preferable avenue to pursue. We present a case study of participatory model evaluation for an agent-based model designed to examine the impacts of land-use/cover change on wildfire regimes for a region of Spain. Although model output was endorsed by interviewees as credible, several alterations to model structure were suggested. Of broader interest, we found that some interviewees conflated model structure with scenario boundary conditions. If an interactive participatory modelling approach is not possible, an emphasis on ensuring that stakeholders understand the distinction between model structure and scenario boundary conditions will be particularly important.

DOI: 10.1080/1747423X.2011.558595

Type of Publication: Journal Article


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