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Journal Articles Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation Year : 2019

Space Matters: Extending Sensitivity Analysis to Initial Spatial Conditions in Geosimulation Models

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Abstract

Although simulation models of socio-spatial systems in general and agent-based models in particular represent a fantastic opportunity to explore socio-spatial behaviours and to test a variety of scenarios for public policy, the validity of generative models is uncertain unless their results are proven robust and representative of 'real-world' conditions. Sensitivity analysis usually includes the analysis of the effect of stochasticity on the variability of results, as well as the effects of small parameter changes. However, initial spatial conditions are usually not modified systematically in socio-spatial models, thus leaving unexplored the effect of initial spatial arrangements on the interactions of agents with one another as well as with their environment. In this article, we present a method to assess the effect of variation of some initial spatial conditions on simulation models, using a systematic geometric structures generator in order to create density grids with which socio-spatial simulation models are initialised. We show, with the example of two classical agent-based models (Schelling's model of segregation and Sugarscape's model of unequal societies) and a straightforward open-source workflow using high performance computing, that the effect of initial spatial arrangements is significant on the two models. We wish to illustrate the potential interest of adding spatial sensitivity analysis during the exploration of models for both modellers and thematic specialists.

Dates and versions

halshs-02353359 , version 1 (07-11-2019)

Identifiers

Cite

Juste Raimbault, Clémentine Cottineau, Marion Le Texier, Florent Le Néchet, Romain Reuillon. Space Matters: Extending Sensitivity Analysis to Initial Spatial Conditions in Geosimulation Models. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, 2019, 22 (4), ⟨10.18564/jasss.4136⟩. ⟨halshs-02353359⟩
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