Description Workshop 6.4
WS 6.4: Integrated simulation modelling in farming systems research
Dr. Giuseppe Feola, Department of Geography and Environmental Science, University of Reading, UK
Dr. Claudia Sattler, Leibniz-Centre for Agricultural Landscape Research (ZALF), Müncheberg, Germany
Prof. Ali Kerem Saysel, Institute of Environmental Sciences, Bogazici University, Turkey
If you want to contribute to this workshop, please click here Submit abstract to this workshop. Fill out the word-template and e-mail it to the address in the bottom of the template. Deadline 20 December 2011.
Different types of simulation models are increasingly used in farming system research. Particularly promising are the approaches which allow for an integrated representation of system components, i.e. bio-economic or socio-ecological models. Popular techniques include linear programming, system dynamics and agent-based modelling. Against this backdrop, the workshop addresses five key themes: i) model validation; ii) the representation of the social agents; iii) integration of different modelling approaches; iv) data scarcity and uncertainty; v) the use of models in participatory processes.
Simulation models are growingly used in farming system research. In particular, the last decades have seen the development of a specific family of simulation models, i.e. integrated, bio-economic, or socio-ecological models. These models allow for representing several processes, system components and sub-systems of interest, including the social component (i.e. economic, institutional, social networks). Thus, integrated models significantly contribute to farming systems research by helping to unravel the systems’ complexity in terms of the diverse interactions and feedback loops among environmental and socio-economic components across different scales in space and time. Simulation models may be developed with different but often overlapping goals, such as farm optimization, sustainability assessment, or support of social learning in participatory processes. Different approaches and techniques exist to build simulation models of agricultural systems, being linear programming, system dynamics and agent-based modelling among the most common. Interestingly, simulation models growingly combine several approaches.
The recent literature has highlighted some key issues, around which the workshop discussion will be directed:
i) model validation;
ii) the representation of the social agents;
iii) integration of different modelling approaches;
iv) data scarcity and uncertainty;
v) the use of models in participatory processes.
The workshop will bring together a diverse group of researchers and aim at the participation of researchers from different scientific disciplines (i.e. natural and social sciences). Given the orientation of farming systems research towards systemic approaches and inter-disciplinarity, the workshop will focus on integrated simulation models, i.e. those models that integrate both a bio-physical component and a socio-economic one. All modelling approaches will be considered, but a preference will be accorded to those models combining different modelling approaches in innovative ways.
This workshop cross-cuts several research perspectives of the 10th European IFSA Symposium. Given the wide applicability of simulation models, the studies presented are expected to cover potentially all the 6 Symposium´s perspectives. For example, applications which are likely to be presented and discussed include the role of simulation models as learning platforms (topic 1), adaptation strategies (topic 3), and land use change (topic 5).
Workshop method and organisation:
Oral presentation. The discussion will be in the form of questions-and-answers after each full presentation. The presentations will be scheduled in sessions so that the focus of each session will be on one or few selected sub-themes (e.g. the issue of validation, the use of models in participatory processes). This is expected to stimulate and focus the discussion.
What can the participants expect?
Participant can expect: i) to meet fellow researchers adopting simulation modelling in farming systems research, thus strengthening the sense of community in this sub-field of research, ii) to gain an overview and update of current modelling practice, and iii) to actively discuss strenghts and limits of simulation modelling in general and of particular approaches.
In addition, the convenors are committed to exploring the possibility of publishing the conference papers, or a selection of them, in an edited book or special issue of a suitable scientific journal.