Comparison of the structure and accuracy of two land change models
This paper compares two land change models in terms of appropriateness for various applications and predictive power. Cellular Automata Markov (CA_Markov) and Geomod are the two models, which have similar options to allow for specification of the predicted quantity and location of land categories. The most important structural difference is that CA_Markov has the ability to predict any transition among any number of categories, while Geomod predicts only a one-way transition from one category to one alternative category. To assess the predictive power, each model is run several times to predict land change in central Massachusetts, USA. The models are calibrated with information from 1971 to 1985, and then the models predict the change from 1985 to 1999. The method to measure the predictive power: 1) separates the calibration process from the validation process, 2) assesses the accuracy at multiple resolutions, and 3) compares the predictive model vis-à-vis a null model that predicts pure persistence. Among 24 model runs, the predictive models are more accurate than the null model at resolutions coarser than two kilometres, but not at resolutions finer than one kilometre. The choice of the options account for more variation in accuracy of runs than the choice of the model per se. The most accurate model runs are those that did not use spatial contiguity explicitly. For this particular study area, the added complexity of CA_Markov is of no benefit. © 2005 Taylor & Francis Ltd.
International Journal of Geographical Information Science
Pontius, Gil R. and Malanson, Jeffrey, "Comparison of the structure and accuracy of two land change models" (2005). Geography. 799.