Agent - based modelling and the transition to organic farming
Lead researchers: Martin Bunch, Rod MacRae, Environmental and Urban Change, York University
Other researchers: Ali Ghaffari, Shuilin Zhao, Environmental and Urban Change, York University
In this research, Agent Based Modeling (ABM) has been applied to model land use change in an Ontario sub-watershed to study the transition to organic farming over a period of 30 years, and its effect on greenhouse gas (GHG) changes. We have developed the application of a REPAST platform, a free and open source geospatial Multi-agent Model (or Agent-based Model or ABM).The combination of geospatial analysis and use of an Agent-based Model is a new way to solve complex problems involving multiple decision makers on the landscape, and helps to address the time dimension in geospatial modeling problems. ABM can model dynamic systems, their evolutionary changes and, importantly, can predict possible sustainable system configurations. As a part of this research project, open source tools were developed to integrate ABM and GIS environments, specifically with respect to data transport and the coupling of GIS and REPAST tools.
This research was supported by a grant to the Organic Science Cluster project funded by Agriculture and Agri-food Canada.