The Bartlett Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis


CASA Working Paper 133


1 April 2008

Constructing and Implementing an Agent-Based Model of Residential Segregation through Vector GIS

In this paper, we present a geographically explicit agent-based model, loosely coupled with vector GIS, which explicitly captures and uses geometrical data and socio economic attributes in the simulation process. The ability to represent the urban environment as a series of points, line and polygons not only allows one to represent a range of different sized features such as houses or larger areas portrayed as the urban environment but is a move away from many agent-based models utilising GIS which are rooted in grid-based structures.

We apply this model to the study of residential segregation, specifically creating a Schelling (1971, 1978) type of model within a hypothetical cityscape, thus demonstrating how this approach can be used for linking vector-based GIS and agent-based modelling. A selection of simulation experiments are presented, highlighting the inner workings of the model and how aggregate patterns of segregation can emerge from the mild tastes and preferences of individual agents interacting locally over time. Furthermore, the paper suggests how this model could be extended and demonstrates the importance of explicit geographical space in the modelling process.

This working paper is available as a PDF. The file size is 4526KB.

Authors: Andrew Crooks

Publication Date: 1/4/2008

Download working paper No. 133.