Presenter/Author Information

Niandry Moreno
Magdiel Ablan
Giorgio Tonella

Keywords

spatio-temporal models, geographic information system, simulation software, cellular automata

Start Date

1-7-2002 12:00 AM

Description

Simulation models are a key tool to study the dynamics of ecological systems where space plays a fundamental role. These kinds of models in which the dynamic of the system is space-dependent are called spatial simulation models. The most frequently used approach to simulate spatial models consists of a simulation program (typically developed in a general purposed language) that periodically exports results to a Geographic Information System (GIS) to visualize or analyze the spatial component. This type of approach requires of a user programming skills and to be knowledgeable about GIS, limiting the use of the model and increasing the time necessary to develop and complete a project. A second approach combines in one interface the simulation program with the tools needed to manipulate the spatial component of the models. Although these types of systems are user-friendly, they are also less general since they deal with only a very specific kind of system. This paper presents the design and implementation of SpaSim, a software to simulate spatial models that overcome the disadvantages of these two approaches. The program allows the user to build, simulate and perform spatial and spatial-temporal analysis on the same environment. Currently, the software supports the development of models based on cellular automata. Demonstration of the software is given via implementation of a recently published model. SpaSim reduces considerably the time to develop cellular automata models and give users an appropriate combination of flexibility and ease of use.

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Jul 1st, 12:00 AM

SpaSim: A Software to Simulate Cellular Automata Models

Simulation models are a key tool to study the dynamics of ecological systems where space plays a fundamental role. These kinds of models in which the dynamic of the system is space-dependent are called spatial simulation models. The most frequently used approach to simulate spatial models consists of a simulation program (typically developed in a general purposed language) that periodically exports results to a Geographic Information System (GIS) to visualize or analyze the spatial component. This type of approach requires of a user programming skills and to be knowledgeable about GIS, limiting the use of the model and increasing the time necessary to develop and complete a project. A second approach combines in one interface the simulation program with the tools needed to manipulate the spatial component of the models. Although these types of systems are user-friendly, they are also less general since they deal with only a very specific kind of system. This paper presents the design and implementation of SpaSim, a software to simulate spatial models that overcome the disadvantages of these two approaches. The program allows the user to build, simulate and perform spatial and spatial-temporal analysis on the same environment. Currently, the software supports the development of models based on cellular automata. Demonstration of the software is given via implementation of a recently published model. SpaSim reduces considerably the time to develop cellular automata models and give users an appropriate combination of flexibility and ease of use.