Agent-based modelling for urban sprawl in the region of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Abdulahad Malik, Rifaat Abdalla*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


Agent-based modelling (ABM) is a form of simulation that is phenomenal in understanding and exploring various types of spatial and non-spatial problems. The goal of this research is to study agent-based modeling in an urban context. ArcGIS was used to develop cost raster. In the second part, NetLogo was used to create agents for the purpose of stochastic simulation of urban sprawl in Waterloo Region. The cost rasters were generated using the Cost Distance Tool in ArcGIS with two inputs: source raster and time raster. The simulating model in NetLogo was created using three raster layers: proximity to University of Waterloo campus, proximity to grocery stores and proximity to the LRT stops. The use of ABM has helped in understanding the urban dynamics and to model the settlement pattern of students in Waterloo region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7
JournalModeling Earth Systems and Environment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2017


  • Agent based modelling
  • Raster automata
  • Urban sprawl

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computers in Earth Sciences
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty
  • General Environmental Science
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences

Cite this