Of mice and men: what rodent populations can teach us about complex spatial dynamics
Models of complex systems need not be themselves complex, let alone complicated. To illustrate this important point, a very simple cellular automaton model of rodent population dynamics is used to generate a wide variety of different spatiotemporal structures corresponding to different forms of equilibrium, cyclical, quasi-cyclical, and chaotic system behavior. The issue of complexity as it pertains to a number of different contemporary scientific fields is then discussed, and in particular its implications for prediction. The discussion ends with some general reflexions about modeling in human geography.
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