Realistic Spatial Backcloth is not that Important in Agent Based Simulation Research: An Illustration from Simulating Perceptual Deterrence

Realistic Spatial Backcloth is not that Important in Agent Based Simulation Research: An Illustration from Simulating Perceptual Deterrence

Henk Elffers (Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement NSCR and Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands) and Pieter Van Baal (National Institute for Public Health and the Environment RIVM, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59904-591-7.ch002
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Abstract

This chapter considers whether it is worthwhile and useful to enrich agent based spatial simulation studies in criminology with a real geographical background, such as the map of a real city? Using modern GIS tools, such an enterprise is in principle quite feasible, but we argue that in many cases this course is not only not producing more interesting results, but in fact may well be detrimental for the real reason of doing criminal simulation studies, which is understanding the underlying rules. The argument is first outlined in general, and then illustrated in the context of a given example of the ThESE perceptual deterrence simulation model (Van Baal, 2004), a model that actually is using a simple checkerboard as its spatial backcloth.

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