Complexity and Urban Simulation: Towards a Computational Laboratory
AbstractThe urban environment is a complex system. The evolution of cities is pathdependent, involving massive interactions at a microscopic scale. New urban structures and forms emerge from ill-defined, non-linear, and interactive processes. The complexity justifies computer-based simulation because simulation is often the only practical way to study a complex system. However, it is the complexity that raises a series of methodological issues that need to be scrutinized. Urban (social) systems differ from natural systems in that the microscopic rule of the former is complex. Recently, bottom-up models such as cell-based spatially explicit models, cellular automata (CA), microsimulation and multiagent simulation (MAS) have emerged. This paper addresses some important issues of the new generation of urban simulation and advocates the use of simulation as a computational laboratory.
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