An approximate Bayesian computation approach for estimating parameters of complex environmental processes in a cellular automata

Rasmussen, Rune K. & Hamilton, Grant S. (2012) An approximate Bayesian computation approach for estimating parameters of complex environmental processes in a cellular automata. Environmental Modelling and Software, 29(1), pp. 1-10.

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Modelling an environmental process involves creating a model structure and parameterising the model with appropriate values to accurately represent the process. Determining accurate parameter values for environmental systems can be challenging. Existing methods for parameter estimation typically make assumptions regarding the form of the Likelihood, and will often ignore any uncertainty around estimated values. This can be problematic, however, particularly in complex problems where Likelihoods may be intractable.

In this paper we demonstrate an Approximate Bayesian Computational method for the estimation of parameters of a stochastic CA. We use as an example a CA constructed to simulate a range expansion such as might occur after a biological invasion, making parameter estimates using only count data such as could be gathered from field observations. We demonstrate ABC is a highly useful method for parameter estimation, with accurate estimates of parameters that are important for the management of invasive species such as the intrinsic rate of increase and the point in a landscape where a species has invaded. We also show that the method is capable of estimating the probability of long distance dispersal, a characteristic of biological invasions that is very influential in determining spread rates but has until now proved difficult to estimate accurately.

Impact and interest:

13 citations in Scopus
10 citations in Web of Science®
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ID Code: 47105
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Approximate Bayesian computations, Cellular automata, Range expansion, Population dynamics
DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.10.005
ISSN: 13648152
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000) > ECOLOGICAL APPLICATIONS (050100) > Invasive Species Ecology (050103)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > INFORMATION AND COMPUTING SCIENCES (080000) > COMPUTER SOFTWARE (080300) > Bioinformatics Software (080301)
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2011 Elseiver
Copyright Statement: NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Environmental Modelling and Software. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Environmental Modelling and Software, [VOL 29, ISSUE 1, March 2012 DOI 10.1016/j.envsoft.2011.10.005
Deposited On: 27 Nov 2011 22:24
Last Modified: 28 Jun 2017 16:34

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