A network analytic approach to investigating a land-use change agent-based model
© Springer International Publishing AG 2017. Precise analysis of agent-based model (ABM) outputs can be a challenging and even onerous endeavor. Multiple runs or Monte Carlo sampling of one’s model (for the purposes of calibration, sensitivity, or parameter-outcome analysis) often yields a large set of trajectories or state transitions which may, under certain measurements, characterize the model’s behavior. These temporal state transitions can be represented as a directed graph (or network) which is then amenable to network analytic and graph theoretic measurements. Building on strategies of aggregating model outputs from multiple runs into graphs, we devise a temporally constrained graph aggregating state changes from runs and examine its properties in order to characterize the behavior of a land-use change ABM, the RHEA model. Features of these graphs are transformed into measures of complexity which in turn vary with different parameter or experimental conditions. This approach provides insights into the model behavior beyond traditional statistical analysis. We find that increasing the complexity in our experimental conditions can ironically decrease the complexity in the model behavior.
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