Sensitivity of a Land Change Model to Pixel Resolution and Precision of the Independent Variable
It is important to know how the results from a land change model vary based on both the pixel resolution of the maps and the precision of the independent variables because subjective decisions or default values frequently determine these two factors. This paper presents an approach to measure the variation in model accuracy that is triggered by alteration of the pixel resolution and the precision of the independent variable, which are bins of distance to previously built area for our case study. We illustrate the principles with an application of the Geomod land change model contained in the Idrisi GIS, applied to simulate the gain of built land in central Massachusetts, USA. Results reveal four general principles: (1) change in pixel resolution using the majority-takes-all rule can influence quantity error, (2) change in bin width of an independent variable does not influence the quantity error, (3) resolution and bin width interact so that bin width does not have an effect on error when bin widths are smaller than the pixel resolution, and (4) researchers are wise to examine the implications of their subjective decisions by plotting clearly how the resolution and bin size influence the mathematical relationships that the model uses. We have found no universal, hard, and fast rules that dictate how to decide on an appropriate pixel resolution and bin width, but our method demonstrates how these decisions can be influential. These insights can offer scientists guidance in how to prepare data in an appropriate manner. © 2010 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Environmental Modeling and Assessment
Chen, Hao and Pontius, Robert Gilmore, "Sensitivity of a Land Change Model to Pixel Resolution and Precision of the Independent Variable" (2011). Geography. 759.