Several factors influence the performance of land change simulation models. One potentially important factor is land category aggregation, which reduces the number of categories while having the potential to reduce also the size of apparent land change in the data. Our article compares how four methods to aggregate Corine Land Cover categories influence the size of land changes in various spatial extents and consequently influence the performance of 114 Cellular Automata-Markov simulation model runs. We calculated the reference change during the calibration interval, the reference change during the validation interval and the simulation change during the validation interval, along with five metrics of simulation performance, Figure of Merit and its four components: Misses, Hits,Wrong Hits and False Alarms. The Corine Standard Level 1 category aggregation reduced change more than any of the other aggregation methods. The model runs that used the Corine Standard Level 1 aggregation method tended to return lower sizes of changing areas and lower values of Misses, Hits, Wrong Hits and False Alarms, where Hits are correctly simulated changes. The behavior-based aggregation method maintained the most change while using fewer categories compared to the other aggregation methods. We recommend an aggregation method that maintains the size of the reference change during the calibration and validation intervals while reducing the number of categories, so the model uses the largest size of change while using fewer than the original number of categories.
Varga, Orsolya Gyöngyi; Pontius, Robert Gilmore; Szabó, Zsuzsanna; and Szabó, Szilárd, "Effects of category aggregation on land change simulation based on corine land cover data" (2020). Geography. 715.
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