Infoscience

Thesis

Conception et évaluation d'un prototype de simulation de la morphogenèse urbaine par agents vecteurs multi-échelles

The research work of this PhD thesis was carried out in the context of an interdisciplinary project related to the study of urban morphogenesis. A team composed of architects and engineers specialized in GIS technologies have worked together in this project during three years, sharing their knowledge in order to understand and simulate the evolution of the urban environment of cities. The fundamental hypothesis that conducted this research is that the city can be seen as a self-organizing system governed by a set of morphogenesis rules, which can for example, determine the location of new architectural programs and induce the city's organization, from local to global scales. Architectural programs themselves are supposed to determine city's development. In this PhD thesis a simulation prototype of the urban growth based on the use of multi-agents systems was carried out. This prototype is a computer tool that allows the analysis and representation of the growth of the built environment. Nowadays, the ability to understand and simulate urban evolution proves to be essential in order to control the evolution of a city in a sustainable development view. Furthermore, this tool should facilitate the understanding and decision-making of those concerned with problems related to urban development. The urban system has been modeled as a set of space objects, such as buildings and networks, which interact between themselves. These interactions are carried out at different levels, from local to global scales, being controlled by behavioral rules or laws of growth. The result of their interaction can be figures or emergent phenomena represented at several scales. The approach using multi-agents vector systems was chosen in order to model a geographical complex system like a city, which integrates a vectorial modeling of space. Hence, each spatial agent does not possess a limit of form and size. The interest of using multi-agents vector systems also lies in their ability to manage various models of individuals, from simple entities to more complex ones. Thus, various levels of representation, such as individuals and groups of individuals, can be managed, which is not easily feasible, for example, with cellular agents. The development platform used is GeOxygene (Java computer programming language), which is an open-source platform developed at IGN (Institut Géographique National, France), by COGIT laboratory. This platform provides several GIS functions, allowing the development and implementation of the prototype here presented. An interaction model between agents was defined and the type of scenarios of each of these interactions was detailed. A set of methods and associated classes was developed. Agent's architecture was conceived in order to allow manipulation (sending, receiving and treatment) of exchanged messages. In order to show the relevance of the multi-agent multi-scale methodology, examples of buildings creation in a case study zone were carried out. Using the multi-scale vector simulation prototype here presented, the development of cities can be computed in a very innovative way. However, the developed prototype still lacks some accuracy, mostly due to the fact that the specified laws adopted for simulation do not reflect the whole reality, which is obviously much more complex to traduce. We have not yet validated the model for other cities – nevertheless, the model could already be used as a decision support tool, particularly as a planning support instrument for architects and urban planners. With regards to future work this prototype shall be integrated in a global approach of urban simulation, allowing the analysis of environmental risks, demographic and economic growth and transports simulation at different scales of analysis and 2D/3D visualization output, such as district and city.

Related material