Journal of Resources and Ecology ›› 2012, Vol. 3 ›› Issue (4): 349-358.DOI: 10.5814/j.issn.1674-764x.2012.04.008

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A Multi-agent Model to Simulate Regional Land Use Change with an Application to the Poyang Lake Area of China

YAN Dan1,2, HUANG Heqing1, LIU Gaohuan1, PAN Lihu1,3, LIU Zhijia1,2   

  1. 1 State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China;
    2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China;
    3 School of Computer, Taiyuan University of Science and Technology, Taiyuan 030024, China
  • Received:2012-04-16 Revised:2012-05-21 Online:2012-12-30 Published:2012-12-29
  • Supported by:

    Chinese R&D Program of “Development of a comprehensive monitoring and evaluation system for ecological compensation of typical ecologically vulnerable regions of China (2006BAC08B06)”, National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (40788001) and One Hundred Talents Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

Abstract: In many regions both urban expansion and rural development take place simultaneously, and for the purpose of understanding the dynamic process of land use/cover change (LUCC) in such large areas, this study develops a multi-agent based land use model. Taking the Poyang Lake area of China as a typical case, this study applies the mechanism of diffusion-limited aggregation to simulate the behavior of urban agents, while rural land use is illustrated with a bottom-up based model consisting of agent and environment layers. In the agent layer, each household agent makes its own decisions on land use, and at each time interval a government agent takes control of land use by implementing policies. According to incomes and the rate of migrant workers, household agents are divided into six categories, among which different decision rules are followed. For complex LUCC in the Poyang Lake area of China from 1985 to 2005, the artificial society model developed in this study yields results highly consistent with observations. Importantly, it is shown that governmental policies can impose significant effects on the decisions of individual household agents on land use and the multi-agent-based land use model developed in this study provides a robust means for assessing the effectiveness of governmental policies.

Key words: land use/cover change (LUCC), multi-agent model, urban expansion, rural land use, diffusion-limited aggregation (DLA)