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Using Qualitative Evidence to Enhance an Agent-Based Modelling System for Studying Land Use Change

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Abstract

This paper describes and evaluates a process of using qualitative field research data to extend the pre-existing FEARLUS agent-based modelling system through enriching its ontological capabilities, but without a deep level of involvement of the stakeholders in designing the model itself. Use of qualitative research in agent-based models typically involves protracted and expensive interaction with stakeholders; consequently gathering the valuable insights that qualitative methods could provide is not always feasible. At the same time, many researchers advocate building completely new models for each scenario to be studied, violating one of the supposed advantages of the object-oriented programming languages in which many such systems are built: that of code reuse. The process described here uses coded interviews to identify themes suggesting changes to an existing model, the assumptions behind which are then checked with respondents. We find this increases the confidence with which the extended model can be applied to the case study, with a relatively small commitment required on the part of respondents.

Suggested Citation

  • J. Gary Polhill & Lee-Ann Sutherland & Nicholas M. Gotts, 2010. "Using Qualitative Evidence to Enhance an Agent-Based Modelling System for Studying Land Use Change," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 13(2), pages 1-10.
  • Handle: RePEc:jas:jasssj:2009-9-3
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    File URL: http://jasss.soc.surrey.ac.uk/13/2/10/10.pdf
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    1. Hare, M & Deadman, P, 2004. "Further towards a taxonomy of agent-based simulation models in environmental management," Mathematics and Computers in Simulation (MATCOM), Elsevier, vol. 64(1), pages 25-40.
    2. Patrick D'aquino & Christophe Le Page & Fran├žois Bousquet & Alassane Bah, 2003. "Using Self-Designed Role-Playing Games and a Multi-Agent System to Empower a Local Decision-Making Process for Land Use Management: the SelfCormas Experiment in Senegal," Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, vol. 6(3), pages 1-5.
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    1. repec:eee:ecomod:v:273:y:2014:i:c:p:284-298 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. repec:eee:ecomod:v:222:y:2011:i:19:p:3486-3499 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Malawska, Anna & Topping, Christopher John, 2016. "Evaluating the role of behavioral factors and practical constraints in the performance of an agent-based model of farmer decision making," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 143(C), pages 136-146.

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