"It's Complex: Future of Modelling and Simulation in a Changing Geospatial Data Environment"
The increasing availability of large, dynamic Geospatial datasets (where information is captured from a multitude of satellite-borne and spatially distributed terrestrial sensors) creates tremendous opportunities and challenges for understanding complex systems and feedbacks. However, new and innovative methods are required to usefully utilize this torrent of information. And since much of current geospatial research relies on simple models with relatively little data assimilation, any new paradigm also carries significant data and computational demands. Thus, I will focus on how complex system analysis methods and simulations (e.g., Agent Based Models (ABM), Spatial Social Networks (SSN), and spatially distributed Sensor Networks) can evolve concurrently in an attempt to better capture the inherent complexity of human-environment interactions that occur within a spatial framework. Specifically, ABMs of primate movements, SSNs of conservation workers, and a sensor network for measuring Urban Heat Island effects, will be highlighted. Furthermore, the final part of the lecture will focus on the possible synergistic collaborations to develop a WICI node in Montreal.
Raja Sengupta, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Geography & School of Environment, McGill University. His research interests center on Geographic Information Science (GIScience), and include Agent-Based Models (ABMs) and computational aspects surrounding the implementation of these models to understand both social and technology related issues. Recently, he has begun to look at how machine learning techniques can inform rule-generation for ABMs. Another aspect of his research looks at the emerging Smart Cities debate. Current projects in this area look at spatio-temporal variations in Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect through the use of a large network of low cost sensors. He is a Topic Editor for the ISPRS International Journal of Geoinformation, and an Editorial Board Member of Water International. He also is a review committee member for the GIScience, Spatial Knowledge and Information-Canada, and GEO Processing conference series.