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We are pleased to announce a new special issue in the ISPRS International Journal of Geo-Information on ‘Innovations in Agent-Based Modelling of Spatial Systems’. We particularly encourage contributions from early career researchers (details below). This special issue call is also available as a flyer (pdf). Full details are available from the journal website.

Guest Editors: Nick Malleson, Ed Manley, Alison Heppenstall.

Innovations in Agent-Based Modelling of Spatial Systems

Agent-Based Modelling is a method that is ideally suited to modelling many social and spatial phenomena, particularly in human-environmental systems where the interactions and behaviours of heterogeneous individuals are key to understanding the wider system-level behaviour. Although it is a relatively new method that understandably receives criticism, significant progress has been made towards: (i) strengthening the reliability of agent-based models through the development of comprehensive validation methods; (ii) the use of new data sources to better capture observed and simulated patterns at different scales; or (iii) through closer working with the ‘end users’ of research, such as policy makers and businesses, so that the uncertainties and limitations of any modelled results are properly understood.

This Special Issue aims to capture state-of-the-art findings in agent-based modelling of spatial systems, with a particular emphasis on papers that are advancing the discipline through new approaches to validation, the use of new data, or policy-focussed work that can evidence a strong collaboration with end users. We encourage papers ranging from those that address fundamental methodological issues in toy systems to fully-fledged empirical applications. Submissions are particularly encouraged from early-career researchers, following the European Research Council definition of within 7 years since the completion of their PhD (plus additional allowances for career breaks etc.). Research supervisors and senior colleagues are allowed as co-authors, but the lead author must be an early career researcher.

Submissions are invited that cover a range of issues, with topics including (but not limited to):

  • Methods to support better validation of spatial agent-based models

  • Empirical applications of spatial agent-based models

  • The use of innovative methods to advance agent-based modelling, such as machine learning, AI methods, or Bayesian approaches

  • The incorporation of novel data to inform agent-based models, such as volunteered geographical information or ‘big’ data sources

  • Modelling spatial systems in real time

  • Understanding and/or quantifying the uncertainty associated with spatial agent-based models

  • Applications of agent-based modelling to policy-focussed problems

  • Developments in the visualisation of spatial agent-based models

  • Applications focussed on urban phenomena such as short-term population flows, crowding/congestion, pollution, etc.

Full details are available from the journal website.