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The Regional Multi-Agent Simulator (RegMAS): an open-source spatially explicit model to assess the impact of agricultural policies


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  • Lobianco, Antonello
  • Esposti, Roberto


RegMAS (Regional Multi Agent Simulator) is an open-source spatially explicit multi-agent model framework specifically designed for long-term simulations of the effects of policies on agricultural systems. Using iterated conventional optimisation problems as agents’ behavioural rules, it allows for a bidirectional integration between geophysical and social models where spatially-distributed characteristics are taken into account in the programming problem of the optimising agents. With RegMAS it is possible to simulate the local specific response to a given policy (or scenario), where policies, together with macro and regional characteristics, are read into the program in specially formatted spreadsheets and standard GIS files. The paper presents the model logic and structure and describes its functioning by applying it to a case-study, where RegMAS results are compared with conventional agent-based modelling to demonstrate the advantages of spatial explicitness. The simulation refers to the impact of the recent “Health Check” of the CAP on farm structures, income and land use in a hilly area of a central Italian region (Marche).

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 25817.

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Date of creation: Jun 2010
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Publication status: Published in Computers and Electronics in Agriculture 1.72(2010): pp. 14-26
Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:25817

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Keywords: Agent-Based Modelling; Mathematical Programming; Explicit Spatial Analysis; Common Agricultural Policy;

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  1. M. Ataman Aksoy & John C. Beghin, 2005. "Global Agricultural Trade and Developing Countries," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 7464, October.
  2. Castella, Jean-Christophe & Boissau, Stanislas & Trung, Tran Ngoc & Quang, Dang Dinh, 2005. "Agrarian transition and lowland-upland interactions in mountain areas in northern Vietnam: application of a multi-agent simulation model," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 86(3), pages 312-332, December.
  3. Jes�s Antón & Paolo Sckokai, 2006. "The Challenge of Decoupling Agricultural Support," EuroChoices, The Agricultural Economics Society, vol. 5(3), pages 13-19, December.
  4. Kellermann, Konrad & Sahrbacher, Christoph & Balmann, Alfons, 2008. "Land Markets In Agent Based Models Of Structural Change," 107th Seminar, January 30-February 1, 2008, Sevilla, Spain 6647, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  5. Ellis, John R. & Hughes, David W. & Butcher, Walter R., 1991. "Economic Modeling Of Farm Production And Conservation Decisions In Response To Alternative Resource And Environmental Policies," Northeastern Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Northeastern Agricultural and Resource Economics Association, vol. 20(1), April.
  6. Balmann, Alfons, 1997. "Farm-Based Modelling of Regional Structural Change: A Cellular Automata Approach," European Review of Agricultural Economics, Foundation for the European Review of Agricultural Economics, vol. 24(1), pages 85-108.
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Cited by:
  1. Viaggi, Davide & Bartolini, Fabio & Raggi, Meri & Sardonini, Laura, 2010. "The role of the Common Agricultural Policy in the spatial location of agricultural activities," 116th Seminar, October 27-30, 2010, Parma, Italy 95242, European Association of Agricultural Economists.
  2. Mack, Gabriele & Möhring, Anke & Ferjani, Ali & Zimmermann, Albert & Mann, Stefan, 2013. "Transfer of single farm payment entitlements to farm successors: impact on structural change and rental prices in Switzerland," Bio-based and Applied Economics Journal, Italian Association of Agricultural and Applied Economics (AIEAA), issue 2, August.
  3. Dimitris Kremmydas, 2012. "Agent based modeling for agricultural policy evaluation: A review," Working Papers 2012-3, Agricultural University of Athens, Department Of Agricultural Economics.


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