Agent Based Models in Natural Resource Management

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As one of the initial outputs of the BioSight project, Andrew Bell, Derek Robinson, Ammar Malik, and Snigdha Dewal authored a working paper on the use of agent based models (ABMs) in the field of natural resource management:

Modular Agent Based Model Development in Natural Resource Management for Improved Dissemination and Training. Andrew Bell, Derek Robinson, Ammar Malik, Snigdha Dewal.

Agent based models assess the factors affecting the behavior and decisions taken by the primary agricultural decision makers -- namely the farm household. These agents are the ones who own land and capital used for agricultural production, and therefore their decisions are the primary determining factor on economic and environmental outcomes within the agricultural sector, and their greater impact on economic development and the environment.

A particular advantage of ABMs is that they allow one to determine the impact an intervention, such as economic policy, has on the agent's which are actually responding to and determining the outcome of the intervention. ABMs therefore provide a level of understanding and conceptualization that is not available with other types of models, such as equation based models (EBMs) or statistical models. This paper highlights the advantages of ABMs over other these other types of models, and also addresses their drawbacks and limitations. Lastly, promising areas for future research are covered.

 

Click here to link to Journal Article in Environmental Modelling and Software

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