Cellular automata as the basis of integrated dynamic regional modelling
We present an integrated model of regional spatial dynamics consisting of a cellular automaton-based model of land use linked both to a geographic information system (GIS) and to standard nonspatial models of regional economics and demographics, as well as to a simple model of environmental change. The operation of the model is illustrated with an application to the island of St Lucia developed for the purpose of providing insights into the possible socioeconomic consequences for the island of global climate change. On the basis of results from this and other applications of the model, we conclude that cellular automata not only permit a detailed modelling and realistic prediction of land-use patterns, but they also provide a means of introducing the effects of spatially localized environmental factors, as represented in the GIS, into the operation of standard economic and demographic models, which are otherwise unconstrained.
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