MetroNet: A metropolitan simulation model based on commuting processes

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2 Scopus citations


The aim of this work is to identify a set of fundamental rules that govern the interactions within urban systems at the metropolitan scale. For that, we developed an USM (Urban Simulation Model) specifically designed to study the evolution and dynamics of systems of cities. Our model is innovative in its structure: it is a superposition of cellular automata and agent based modeling approaches (that are essentially spatial analyses) and a complex network approach (that is essentially a topological analysis). This implies that in our model, the local activities and interaction of agents give rise to the global urban structure and network that in turn affects the agents’ cognition, behavior, movement and action in the city and so on in circular causality. The model simulates commuting patterns of agents within a metropolis. The agents in our model represent workers who look for working places, the nodes represent urban employment centers, and the links represent commuters. Our results address three issues: the first suggests that the perception of urban boundaries plays a significant role in the metropolitan evolution in terms of network topology. This means that the existence of business centers, located in proximity to each other (but belonging to different municipalities) may lead to the emergence of new centers at the metropolis scale. The second issue concerns urban segregation; our results suggest that the location preferences of the agents regarding proximity to similar/different agents have a major affect not only on the urban morphology but also on the topology of the urban network. The third and last issue concerns the size distributions of agents in our model; these distributions correspond to all types of homogenous distributions observed in real system of cities.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSelf-Organizing Systems - 6th IFIP TC 6 InternationalWorkshop, IWSOS 2012, Proceedings
EditorsFernando A. Kuipers, Poul E. Heegaard
PublisherSpringer Verlag
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)9783642285820
StatePublished - 2012
Event6th IFIP TC 6 InternationalWorkshop on Self-Organizing Systems, IWSOS 2012 - Delft, Netherlands
Duration: 15 Mar 201216 Mar 2012

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics)
ISSN (Print)0302-9743
ISSN (Electronic)1611-3349


Conference6th IFIP TC 6 InternationalWorkshop on Self-Organizing Systems, IWSOS 2012


  • Agent based models
  • Urban complexity
  • Urban networks
  • Urban simulation models


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