Acta Geographica Sinica ›› 2011, Vol. 66 ›› Issue (11): 1518-1530.doi: 10.11821/xb201111008

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Complex System Theory and Agent-based Modeling: Progresses in Land Change Science

YU Qiangyi1,2, WU Wenbin1,2, TANG Huajun1,2, YANG Peng1,2, CHEN Zhongxin1,2, CHEN Youqi1,2   

  1. 1. Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional Planning, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, Beijing 100081, China;
    2. Key Laboratory of Resources Remote Sensing and Digital Agriculture, Ministry of Agriculture, Beijing 100081, China
  • Received:2011-05-04 Revised:2011-09-02 Online:2011-11-20 Published:2011-11-20
  • Supported by:

    National Basic Research Program of China, No.2010CB951504;National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.40930101; No.40971218; Key Project of InternationalCooperation, No.2010DFB10030

Abstract: Based on complex system theory and agent-based models (ABMs), the paper summarizes recent progresses in land change science from the perspective of theory and methodology respectively. Complex system theory is the theoretical basis for carrying out researches on the complex land change issues in the "coupled human and natural systems"; while ABMs, one of the key tools for complex system studies, introduces innovating perspective to traditional land change modeling. The integration of ABMs and land use/cover change models (ABM/LUCC) has achieved several important breakthroughs recently; however, some of the crucial issues remain unsolved, such as the problem of "theory divorced from practice" and the deficiency in cross-site comparison studies. As for current problems, the authors finally have discussion and draw a conclusion that firstly, ABMs should be constructed by the support of complex system theory. Moreover, the natural ABM/LUCC are supposed to explore the comprehensive human-natural interactions in land systems, to predict land system dynamics, and to analyze the consequences of land system change.

Key words: agent-based modeling, coupled human and natural systems, land use and land cover change, land systems