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Spatial interaction modelling

Listed author(s):
  • John Roy


  • Jean-Claude Thill


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    Spatial interaction (SI) is the process whereby entities at different points in physical space make contacts, demand/supply decisions or locational choices. The entities can be individuals or firms and the choices can include housing, jobs, production quantities, exports, imports, face-to-face contacts, schools, retail centres and activity centres. The first SI models can be grouped under the generic heading gravity models. Their main characteristic is that they model the behaviour of demand or supply segments, rather than that of individuals and firms. This article traces the development of these models from their inception in the early part of the twentieth century to the present. The key advances include the replacement of the gravity analogy by the more general concepts of entropy or information theory, a statistical framework commonly used in physics. With the arrival of the regional science paradigm over 50 years ago, a key challenge has been to broaden these models compared to those arising in spatial economics, thus arriving at a more inclusive probabilistic framework. These efforts are discussed here, as well as inclusion of geographical advances, embracing activities as generators of travel, time-geography, recognition of spatial interdependencies, and use of neuro-computing principles. Copyright Springer-Verlag Berlin/Heidelberg 2003

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    Article provided by Springer in its journal Papers in Regional Science.

    Volume (Year): 83 (2003)
    Issue (Month): 1 (October)
    Pages: 339-361

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    Handle: RePEc:spr:ecogov:v:83:y:2003:i:1:p:339-361
    DOI: 10.1007/s10110-003-0189-4
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