Ioannis Athanasiadis bio photo

Ioannis Athanasiadis

Professor of Artificial Intelligence
Wageningen University & Research

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Agent-based modelling and simulation in the irrigation management sector: applications and potential

F. Tzima, I. N. Athanasiadis, P. A. Mitkas


In the field of sustainable development, the management of common-pool resources is an issue of major importance. Several models that attempt to address the problem can be found in the literature, especially in the case of irrigation management. In fact, the latter task represents a great challenge for researchers and decision makers, as it has to cope with various water-related activities and conflicting user perspectives within a specified geographic area. Simulation models, and particularly Agent-Based Modelling and Simulation (ABMS), can facilitate overcoming these limitations: their inherent ability of integrating ecological and socio-economic dimensions, allows their effective use as tools for evaluating the possible effects of different management plans, as well as for communicating with stakeholders. This great potential has already been recognized in the irrigation management sector, where a great number of test cases have already adopted the modelling paradigm of multi-agent simulation. Our current study of agent-based models for irrigation management draws some interesting conclusions, regarding the geographic and representation scale of the reviewed models, as well as the degree of stakeholder involvement in the various development phases. Overall, we argue that ABMS tools have a great potential in representing dynamic processes in integrated assessment tools for irrigation management. Such tools, when effectively capturing social interactions and coupling them with environmental and economical models, can promote active involvement of interested parties and produce sustainable and approvable solutions to irrigation management problems.

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F. Tzima, I. N. Athanasiadis, P. A. Mitkas, Agent-based modelling and simulation in the irrigation management sector: applications and potential, Water Saving in Mediterranean Agriculture (WASAMED 2007), Options M{\'e}diterran{\'e}ennes, vol. 56-2, pg. 273-286, 2007.

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