Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Book chapters
DOI 10.1016/B978-008045405-4.00188-9
Title (Primary) Individual-based models
Title (Secondary) Ecological models
Author Grimm, V.
Publisher Jørgensen, S.E.; Fath, B.D.
Journal Encyclopedia of Ecology
Year 2008
Department OESA
Volume Vol. 3
Page From 1959
Page To 1968
Language englisch
Abstract Individual-based models (IBMs) are based on the explicit representation of individual organisms. They are developed for questions where individual variability, local interactions, and adaptive behavior are essential to get the right answers. IBMs are more complex than other mathematical models. Both their complexity and their uncertainty in model structure and parameters are a challenge, but new approaches exist that help meet these challenges. These approaches are based on multiple patterns, observed in the real systems at different scales and hierarchical levels. Patterns indirectly provide information about the systems' internal organization. The task of the modeler is to decode this information. Specific software libraries and modeling platforms exist to implement IBMs as computer programs. Analyzing IBMs requires considering patterns, to define currencies for comparisons of alternative models and parametrizations, and to perform controlled simulation experiments. Robustness analyses then help identify insights that can be generalized beyond the specific system that has been modeled. Three IBMs from the literature are briefly presented as examples of pragmatic and paradigmatic models of animal and plant populations and communities. IBMs will continue being an integral part of ecological modeling and further important general insights of Individual-based Ecology are to be expected, in particular, once standards for model design, implementation, analysis, and communication get established.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Grimm, V. (2008):
Individual-based models
In: Jørgensen, S.E., Fath, B.D. (eds.)
Ecological models
Encyclopedia of Ecology Vol. 3
Elsevier, Oxford, p. 1959 - 1968