Role of Geospatial Agents in GIScience

In their article, Geospatial Agents, Agents Everywhere…, Sengupta and Sieber (2007) demonstrate how the paradigm of agents in AI both serve and benefit from research in GIScience. I found it interesting that Artificial Life Geospatial Agents (ALGAs) are relevant to our previous discussion about the importance of spatializing social networks. ALGAs are relevant to spatial social networks in that they model “rational-decision making behavior as impacted by a social network” (486-487).  Therefore, applying our knowledge about spatial social networks (as opposed to just social networks) to ALGA development could perhaps help us better understand and model social interactions and information passing between individual agents.

In addition, the interoperability of Software Geospatial Agents (SGAs) across software and hardware platforms informs us about ontology, representation, and semantics in GIScience. Therefore, SGAs might unlock answers concerning key questions surrounding geospatial ontologies and semantics. This is because SGAs have the key responsibility of determining the standards to interpret semantically. These standards may help with important GIScience tasks of expressing topology and geospatial data in GIS. Therefore, the fact that SGAs are “geospatial” in nature will impact the extent of how we “do GIS” as geographers.

I am interested to know the extent that ALGAs are able to incorporate temporal dimensions within its frame of development. I suspect that adopting the added dimension of time into these platforms and models would be a crucial challenge for ALGA research in GIScience.


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