Large Scale Behavioural Modeling Symposium

Large Scale Behavioural Modeling Symposium

Large Scale Behavioural Modeling Symposium

 

 

Symposium: Towards global-scale behavioural models of land use change 15-17 December 2021, Schloss Herrenhausen, Hannover

Organisers: Dr Calum Brown, Prof. Tatiana Filatova, Dr Birgit Müller, Dr Derek Robinson, Prof. Mark Rounsevell, Prof. Maja Schlüter

Overview
The symposium will take place between 09:00 on Wednesday 15 December and 15:30 on Friday 17 December 2021. The symposium (as well as meals) will be hosted in Schloss Herrenhausen, and we will stay in a hotel in the centre of the city. Accommodation and meals will be provided, and there is limited travel funding for participants unable to cover their own expenses.

General description
This symposium will gather together an international group of researchers to tackle one of the most important challenges facing Earth System Science: the development of large-scale (national/continental to global) land-use models that are based on human behaviour, agency and decision-making processes. Participants will engage with theories, methods and tools that can support this development across the land use modelling community. The ultimate aim of the work initiated here will be to identify pathways to sustainability that account for fundamental processes in human and natural systems in uncertain future conditions. As such, these pathways are not detectable through current modelling approaches that do not represent the relevant processes. Participants will work together to support the development of a common land system ‘modelling framework’. This framework will build on recent advances in theoretical and computational representations of human decision-making to determine which processes and relationships are most important, and how they can best be modelled. In creating an alternative to the current range of ‘top-down’ global models based on macro-economics, the symposium will contribute to the development of a working laboratory to test theories of human decision making, assess the impacts of different forms of decision-making on land system outcomes, and undertake social simulation experiments in a globally connected world. This includes new representations of institutional processes and their relationships with local land users. We also envisage coupling of large-scale, land-use models with other model types, such as Dynamic Global Vegetation Models (DGVMs), biodiversity models and/or climate emulators. These coupled models can then be used to explore a wide range of environmental change drivers and to evaluate the consequences of these for ecosystem services. The symposium will involve a mix of research presentations, open discussions, workshops and informal time for networking and planning.

Purpose
The main purpose of the workshop will be to build on recent work within the behavioural modelling community to plan specific collaborative efforts leading towards global-scale modelling. To this end, participants will be invited to complete a pre-workshop survey on their experience and ideas for developing joint work, and to briefly present their own work in flash presentations. We will also try to learn lessons from other fields facing similar challenges. Survey responses will be developed during the workshop to produce a ‘ways forward’ paper and to inform development of the modelling framework.

Contributions
Flash talk and poster submissions are welcome. Flash talks will last 10 minutes with 10 minutes of questions. Talks and posters should be oriented around the symposium’s aims, and be relevant to large (continental-global) scales. If you would like to present a talk or poster, please send a title and short outline (100 words) by 29 October 2021.
We will also ask participants beforehand to prepare one page/slide on potential starting points for collaboration based on their current projects, and to answer a few key questions about research achievements and priorities.

Outputs
We hope to achieve a number of outputs from the symposium, including development of the
large-scale behavioural modelling network and specific plans for producing the common
modelling framework. Further outputs are anticipated to include a paper on ways forward for large-scale behavioural modelling and research funding proposals.

 

Read more about the symposium here.

Land Use and Ecosystem Change Summer School

Land Use and Ecosystem Change Summer School

Land Use and Ecosystem Change Summer School

An AIMES and GLP associated summer school on Land Use and ecosystem change ran between the 9th and 20th of August at the Karlsruhe Institute for Technology in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Twenty-six Masters and PhD students from twelve different countries participated in the 2-week online course, covering a wide range of issues related to ecosystem functioning, socio-ecological systems and land use change.  The summer school involved a mix of webinars, practical exercises and student presentations. Having learned about biophysical and human processes, analysis and modelling techniques, the students went on to explore the role of research in international assessment processes such as the IPCC and IPBES. The summer school is an annual event and is planned to run as an in-person or hybrid event in August 2022. See landchange.earth/online-summer-school-2021 for more information.

Webinar materials now available for “What can land use modellers learn from other disciplines?”

Webinar materials now available for “What can land use modellers learn from other disciplines?”

The joint AIMES/GLP Working Group on Large-scale Behavioural Models of Land Use Change held its second webinar in April 2021 to discuss exciting new advances in social simulation and computational modelling that can support better representation of human behaviour in the land system. 

FirstRobert Axtell presented new work on large-scale agent based models in social science:

The U.S. private sector consisted, before the pandemic, of somewhat more than 120 million employees working in 6 million firms, making nearly $30 trillion of gross output, with another $1 trillion of output coming from firms that had no formal employees. Using data on all of these entities this research describes a model of the entire private sector, i.e., at 1-to-1 or full-scale (aka digital twin, mirror world) that closely reproduces dozens of gross statistical features of American firms and workers, things like firm sizes and ages, employee tenure and turnover, high rates of new firm entrance and endogenous firm exit, a variety of inter-firm networks, and so on. A book on this subject, Dynamics of Firms from the Botton Up: Data, Theories, and Models, is forthcoming from MIT Press.

Presentation: Agent-Based Modeling of Economic Phenomena at Very-Large (Full) Scale (PDF, 11 MB)

Papers:

SecondBrian Mac Namee described the use of machine learning and ABM in computer game design:

For almost every type of model we build we need to make decisions about the level of details with which we will model the real world in a virtual model. Badler (1997) refers to this as virtual fidelity. In the talk this was demonstrated in game agent models for enhancing player experience, machine learning models for behaviour prediction, and an agent-based model for modelling infectious disease transmission.

Badler, Norman I. “Real-time virtual humans.” Proceedings The Fifth Pacific Conference on Computer Graphics and Applications. IEEE, 1997.

Presentation: How Much Reality is Enough? Games, Cows and Disease (PDF, 7 MB)

Papers: 

  • O’Sullivan, Carol, Justine Cassell, Hannes Vilhjalmsson, J. Dingliana, Simon Dobbyn, Brian McNamee, Christopher Peters, and Thang Giang. “Levels of detail for crowds and groups.” In Computer Graphics Forum, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 733-741. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/1467-8659.00631
  • Ryan, C., Gúeret, C., Berry, D., Corcoran, M., Keane, M. T., & Mac Namee, B. (2021). Predicting Illness for a Sustainable Dairy Agriculture: Predicting and Explaining the Onset of Mastitis in Dairy Cows. In Proceedings of Explainable Agency in Artificial Intelligence Workshop @ AAAI 2021 https://arxiv.org/abs/2101.02188
  • Hunter, Elizabeth, Brian Mac Namee, and John Kelleher. “A Hybrid Agent-Based and Equation Based Model for the Spread of Infectious Diseases.” Journal of Artificial Societies & Social Simulation 23.4 (2020). https://arrow.tudublin.ie/sciendoc/241/
  • Hunter, Elizabeth, Brian Mac Namee, and John Kelleher. “An open-data-driven agent-based model to simulate infectious disease outbreaks.” PloS one 13.12 (2018): e0208775. https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0208775

ThirdThomas Clemen presented a simulation platform capable of modelling vast multi-agent systems:

The MARS Group at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences, Germany, provides a software framework for creating agent-based simulation models on a very large scale. The presentation introduces some principal aspects from a computer science and system theoretical perspective. Additionally, the challenges and opportunities of interdisciplinary teams were discussed. A short-course format to develop the necessary skills was proposed.

Presentation: Virtual Humans on MARS: Concepts, AI, and Interdisciplinarity (PDF, 2 MB)

Papers:

The webinar concluded with a discussion among presenters and attendees about how these advances can be used to develop a new generation of land system science models.

Become a Member
Join the Large-scale Behavioural Models of Land Use Change working group to be kept updated on the latest news, events and jobs of interest!

You can also view the recording and download materials from the first webinar.

Large scale behavioural models webinar: The role of machine learning, game design & parallelization in the future of land use modelling

Large scale behavioural models webinar: The role of machine learning, game design & parallelization in the future of land use modelling

Webinar: Friday, 30 April 2021 at 3:00 pm (CEST)
Register to receive Zoom connection information

The AIMES/GLP Working Group on Large-scale Behavioural Models of Land Use Change is pleased to invite you to their next webinar on 30 April at 15:00 Central European Summer Time.

In this webinar you will hear about exciting new advances in social simulation and computational modelling that can support better representation of human behaviour in the land system. Prof. Robert Axtell will present new work on large-scale agent based models in social science, Dr. Brian Mac Namee will describe the use of machine learning and ABM in computer game design, and Prof. Thomas Clemen will present a simulation platform capable of modelling vast multi-agent systems.

The webinar will conclude with a discussion among presenters and attendants about how these advances can be used to develop a new generation of land system science models.

Please note: Attendance is limited to the first 100 participants who join the meeting the day of the event, regardless of registration order. We will send the webinar materials and a recording link to all registrants after the event, regardless of attendance.

Please register here.

You can also view the recording and download materials from the first webinar.

Virtual Summer School: Land Use and Ecosystem Change

Virtual Summer School: Land Use and Ecosystem Change

Overview: Food and bioenergy demands of a growing global population and societies’ changing lifestyles are increasing the pressures on land and ecosystems. Further pressures arise from the demands on land resources for other ecosystem services, and the variable (often negative) impacts of climate change on plant productivity. These multiple, often seemingly conflicting demands on land and ecosystems are a considerablestumbling-block for achieving sustainability goals. The Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) will run an ONLINE international Summer School on the topic of land use and ecosystems change between the 9.-20. August 2021. The summer school courses will introduce students to a wide range of issues related to ecosystem functioning, socio-ecological systems and land use change by covering:

  1. Both the biophysical and human processes and concepts needed to understand the broader issues of socio-ecological systems. This will include, amongst others, ecosystem functioning, biodiversity, ecosystem services, resilience, vulnerability, risk management, tipping-points, sustainability and related concepts in the field. We will also explore current understanding of how environmental change (both physical and human changes in the environment) will affect socio-ecological systems. This will include content on international assessment processes such as the IPCC and IPBES.
  2. Different aspects of land use change processes across geographic scales and for the past, present and future drivers of change. This will include, for example, land abandonment, extensification vs. intensification, deforestation, the role of social networks and knowledge diffusion, the role of pollinators and land management. There will be a focus on land use change assessment methods, including the role of observational data (e.g. from remote sensing and other sources) and land use modelling approaches using interactive exercises and case studies.

Format: The summer school will include a mix of webinars, group and individual exercises, and student presentations. The course is open to students currently studying for an MSc or PhD degree with backgrounds in environmental sciences, geography, environmental economics, meteorology and ecology.

Lecturers (KIT): Prof. Dr. Almut Arneth, Prof. Dr. Mark Rounsevell, Dr. Calum Brown, Dr. Richard Fuchs, Dr. Sam Rabin, Dr. Heera Lee, Dr. Penelope Whitehorn, Dr. Anita Bayer, Dr. Bumsuk Seo and Karina Winkler.

Applications: Applications are open until 30 April 2021. Please send your CV and a letter of motivation (limited to one page) on one document, signed by your supervisor to: sylvia.kratz@kit.edu

 

Download the summer school flyer here.

 

Postdoctoral researcher in land-use change modelling

Postdoctoral researcher in land-use change modelling

Overview
The Land Use and Climate Change Research Group of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (https://landchange.imk-ifu.kit.edu/) is seeking a postdoctoral researcher in the field of land use change modelling. You will work within a newly funded research project on Integrating socio‐technological and ecological land‐based solutions for climate change mitigation in the food and energy systems (ISoTEc‐Land). Your specific roles will be to contribute to the application of a novel agent-based model of land use change at the global scale, and the development of a new model of large-scale, solar panel placement. The position is available from 1 May 2021 for 18 months, with the potential for extension beyond this period subject to performance and funding. The position will also entail some contribution to teaching and group administration. The position holder will be located at KITs attractive Alpine Campus in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Salary will be equivalent to the public service TV-L EG13, depending on qualifications and experience.

Qualifications
You will have a PhD degree in a relevant discipline (or equivalent experience) and strong quantitative skills in computer modelling and the analysis of large-scale datasets in the environmental sciences (GIS experience alone is insufficient). Experience with statistical analysis, scenario analysis, ecological economics, computational social sciences and/or computer programming is desirable. You will need to have proficiency in the English language, both spoken and in writing. Further information can be obtained from Prof. Mark Rounsevell (mark.rounsevell@kit.edu).

Applications
Applications should be sent by email to Prof Mark Rounsevell (mark.rounsevell@kit.edu) by Friday 22 January 2021, quoting the reference, ISoTEc-Land. Applications should be submitted within a single PDF document that includes your CV, publications list (with citations), a short (1-2 page) letter of motivation and contact details for 2 referees. The motivation letter should clearly state how your research interests relate to the job specification provided above. Applications that are incomplete or do not address these criteria will not be considered.

Interviews will be held remotely on Monday 1 February 2021.

KIT strives to achieve gender balance at all levels of employment. We therefore particularly encourage female candidates to apply for this position. With appropriate qualifications, applications from persons with handicaps are treated preferentially.

 

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