IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Complex landscapes of spatial interaction

Listed author(s):
  • David F. Batten


    (The Temaplan Group P.O. Box 3026, Dendy Brighton 3186, Australia)

Registered author(s):

    How complex is the spatial economy? Some apostles of complexity argue that complex behaviour can arise in any system consisting of a largish number of intelligent, adaptive agents interacting on the basis of local information only. This paper examines several features of such dynamic systems, including path-dependence, emergence and self-organization. It goes on to explore their importance for the spatial sciences. Because space scales can change abruptly from local to global, strongly-interactive spatial economies sometimes exhibit astonishing collective properties, emergent features which are lawful in their own right. Segregation, self-similarity and the rank-size rule are familiar examples. To understand how collective order arises from seemingly random fluctuations, we must note how agents choose to interact with other agents and with their environment. We must synthesize rather than analyse. In the paper, self-organization is explored in a variety of contexts, including Schelling's model of neighborhood segregation and some work with cellular automata that has sharpened our insights into the collective synthesis of agents' interactions. Power laws are widely observed. A new way of doing social science - agent-based simulation - offers powerful new insights. It seems likely to revolutionize our field, along with the whole of the social sciences. Some of the current research underway in this area is discussed. "Truth is much too complicated to allow anything but approximations." John von Neumann

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to the full text of the articles in this series is restricted

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

    Article provided by Springer & Western Regional Science Association in its journal The Annals of Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 35 (2001)
    Issue (Month): 1 ()
    Pages: 81-111

    in new window

    Handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:35:y:2001:i:1:p:81-111
    Note: Received: February 1999/Accepted: January 2000
    Contact details of provider: Web page:

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    Order Information: Web:

    No references listed on IDEAS
    You can help add them by filling out this form.

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:spr:anresc:v:35:y:2001:i:1:p:81-111. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla)

    or (Rebekah McClure)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.