The quality of ecosystems is affected by the actions of different stakeholders who use them in a variety of ways. In order to understand this complex relationship between humans and nature, it is vital to understand the complexity of the interacting agents. The authors in this book attempt to do this by applying multi-agent systems to the problems of ecosystem management. The multi-agent approach to ecosystem management is a relatively new and rapidly developing field which takes a formal computational approach towards the interaction of humans with their environment. The authors highlight some of the promising new methodologies which are emerging in the field from disciplines such as computer science and computational social science. They move on to address a number of important topics including diffusion processes, common-pool resources, land use change and the participatory use of models, in an attempt to solve contemporary management issues. They clearly demonstrate the potential utility of multi-agent systems in the context of theoretical problems and practical case studies. This book provides a state-of-the-art review of the theory and application of multi-agent systems for ecosystem management. It will prove indispensable for ecological economists, natural resource and social scientists, and policymakers. It will also appeal to students and scholars who are interested in modelling the human dimensions of global environmental change.
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