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Title: Perspectives on the relationship between local interactions and global outcomes in spatially explicit models of systems of interacting individuals
Author: Evans, T. P.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2015
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Understanding the behaviour of systems of interacting individuals is a key aim of much research in the social sciences and beyond, and a wide variety of modelling paradigms have been employed in pursuit of this goal. Often, systems of interest are intrinsically spatial, involving interactions that occur on a local scale or according to some specific spatial structure. However, while it is recognised that spatial factors can have a significant impact on the global behaviours exhibited by such systems, in practice, models often neglect spatial structure or consider it only in a limited way, in order to simplify interpretation and analysis. In the particular case of individual-based models used in the social sciences, a lack of consistent mathematical foundations inevitably casts doubt on the validity of research conclusions. Similarly, in game theory, the lack of a unifying framework to encompass the full variety of spatial games presented in the literature restricts the development of general results and can prevent researchers from identifying important similarities between models. In this thesis, we address these issues by examining the relationship between local interactions and global outcomes in spatially explicit models of interacting individuals from two different conceptual perspectives. First, we define and analyse a family of spatially explicit, individual-based models, identifying and explaining fundamental connections between their local and global behaviours. Our approach represents a proof of concept, suggesting that similar methods could be effective in identifying such connections in a wider range of models. Secondly, we define a general model for spatial games of search and concealment, which unites many existing games into a single framework, and we present theoretical results on its optimal strategies. Our model represents an opportunity for the development of a more broadly applicable theory of spatial games, which could facilitate progress and highlight connections within the field.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available