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Günther Grill [11-2005]:

Spaial Agent-Based Modelling applied to Irrigation Agriculture Dynamics in the Choapa-Valley, Chile

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The objective of this work is to add to the research of complexity in environmental modelling by exploring the Agent-Based Modelling approach applied to the field of land use change dynamics. The author built a prototype of an Agent-Based Model, the ‘Choapa’ Model simulating irrigation agriculture dynamics in an arid environment in Northern Chile. The model is a spatially explicit model, loosely coupled to Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Agricultural activity is simulated based on micro-level multi criteria decision making, which is carried out by complex agents with adaptive capabilities. The decision model is designed out of components from declarative and imperative decision methods. For the declarative part, ‘objective functions’ and heuristics are used to decide if and where to plant, whereas for the imperative side, a ‘learning’ mechanism is introduced to simulate migration as well as technology adaptation and diffusion. Another facet of the individual agents decision model is a spatial decision making component, adapted from the classical ‘spatial decision support system approach’ using the weighted sum as an aggregation rule Technically, the model is an object-oriented model coded in Java, making extensive use of the Repast 3 Java libraries. It consists of five interacting classes in which the agents are embedded and which holds environmental attributes for decision making. The explorative and empirical capabilities are demonstrated within an exemplary assessment of modelling long-term relative sustainability of agriculture activity as a result of climate variability and climate change. Two scenarios were compared and the spatial and quantitative effects on agriculture activity in the study area are presented and discussed. Spatially disaggregated maps of agricultural core zones based on simulated water availability and climate variability are presented.

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