Case studies, cross-site comparisons, and the challenge of generalization: comparing agent-based models of land-use change in frontier regions
Journal of Land Use Science
DOI of Published Version
Cross-site comparisons of case studies have been identified as an important priority by the land-use science community. From an empirical perspective, such comparisons potentially allow generalizations that may contribute to production of global-scale land-use and land-cover change projections. From a theoretical perspective, such comparisons can inform development of a theory of land-use science by identifying potential hypotheses and supporting or refuting evidence. This paper undertakes a structured comparison of four case studies of land-use change in frontier regions that follow an agent-based modeling approach. Our hypothesis is that each case study represents a particular manifestation of a common process. Given differences in initial conditions among sites and the time at which the process is observed, actual mechanisms and outcomes are anticipated to differ substantially between sites. Our goal is to reveal both commonalities and differences among research sites, model implementations, and ultimately, conclusions derived from the modeling process.
Published Article/Book Citation
Journal of Land Use Science, 3:1 (2008) pp.41-72.