Validation of an agent-based model for spatial planning: A role-playing approach

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his paper discusses the validation of an agent-based model for simulating a multi-actor spatial planning process. After a general discussion about the pitfalls of validating agent-based models that simulate complex spatial systems, we briefly present a validation method based on role playing. The method is designed to generate insights that can improve our understanding of the behaviour of socio-spatial systems in a planning context. The method was tested by carrying out an experimental role play to validate individual agent tasks, focusing on the ability of agents to generate beliefs and preferences about their environment. We conclude that using role play as a validation technique can provide valuable information about the performance of the model. The insights gained aid identification and understanding of those parts of a multi-actor spatial planning system that are currently poorly understood and poorly represented by the agents
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-434
JournalComputers, Environment and Urban Systems
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • land-use models
  • empirical validation
  • simulation
  • sciences


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