Agent-based models in P³
On the 4th of April Veronika, Claudine and Christoph from the Viennese Team were in Leipzig to visit the German P3 people to discuss the next steps in the associated MOLUP project. The aim was to discuss transferability of their agent-based model (SECLAND) developed for an Austrian region in which spatially explicit land use scenarios for a region were modelled until 2050. SECLAND consists of two main components: 1) an agent-based model (ABM) that supports the decisions relevant actors, 2) a spatial-explicit GIS model, that these decisions will result in changes in land cover and land use patterns. Agent-based modeling has become increasingly popular in recent years, but there is still no codified set of recommendations or practices for how to use these models within a program of empirical research. It therefore takes a lot of discussion to know which data sources to use and which questions to ask. See also this scientific article on evaluating and using such models.
Of course, the flight to Leipzig was delayed but finally we arrived at UFZ. Dirk picked us up outside the campus and soon we saw some other familiar faces. We were glad to meet Adeline and Marilen again and together with Jan, Rene and Dirk we started with presenting the results of the ongoing LUBIO project.
There were a couple of interesting questions ending up in a fruitful discussion how to link agent based models dealing with decisions on farm level with amphibians in mountain ecosystems. Luckily, the weather was quite fine, so we had lunch break outside. In the afternoon, the discussion was prolonged and we were able to end up in important agreements how to proceed. Before we left, Dirk and Adeline showed us around the UFZ campus, the highlight was the top floor of the “tower”, were we enjoyed an impressive panorama view of Leipzig. Finally, we had to leave, not knowing that the adventure had not started yet. After 2.5 hours of delay, our flight back to Vienna was cancelled. Whereas Veronika and Claudine decided to travel with the midnight bus back home, Christoph stayed at the airport hotel to take a flight the next day. However, in the end every one of us made it back to Vienna, with a lot of ideas and plans how to make MOLUP a success.