1988 volume 20(1) pages 99 – 109
doi:10.1068/a200099

Cite as:
Couclelis H, 1988, "Of mice and men: what rodent populations can teach us about complex spatial dynamics" Environment and Planning A 20(1) 99 – 109

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Of mice and men: what rodent populations can teach us about complex spatial dynamics

H Couclelis

Received 12 January 1987

Abstract. Models of complex systems need not be themselves complex, let alone complicated. To illustrate this important point, a very simple cellular automaton model of rodent population dynamics is used to generate a wide variety of different spatiotemporal structures corresponding to different forms of equilibrium, cyclical, quasi-cyclical, and chaotic system behavior. The issue of complexity as it pertains to a number of different contemporary scientific fields is then discussed, and in particular its implications for prediction. The discussion ends with some general reflexions about modeling in human geography.

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