Modeling Cities and Displacement through an Agent-based Spatial Interaction Model

Timothy Gulden, Joseph F. Harrison and Andrew T. Crooks

This paper describes a stylized model of internally displaced person (IDP) dynamics in East Africa. Displaced people often require support from national governments, international agencies or major non-governmental organizations. Anticipating the timing and magnitude of displacement events, as well as the likely locations to which displaced people will move would be of great interest to the various organizations tasked with managing such events. The paper examines three alternative modeling frameworks based on a pruned spatial interaction model, a local interaction model, and a hybrid of these two approaches. Each of the pure approaches is found to have limitations that can be overcome by adopting the hybrid approach.

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