GAMA Days 2021

  • Yahya Gamal (Participant)

Activity: Participating in or organising event(s)Participating in a conference, workshop, exhibition, performance, inquiry, course etcResearch


Title: A Land Use Agent Based Model Incorporating Procedural Utility Abstract: The process-consequence dichotomy has been an ongoing discussion in economic decision making. This extends to utility theories in land use analyses. The consequence approach is concerned with the materialistic benefit gained from the land plot (Output Utility). The process approach focuses on the benefit gained from undergoing a land market exchange process (Procedural Utility) (Frey, 2008). Land use analyses – particularly simulation methods – only use output utility. Accordingly, this paper introduces a land use Agent Based Model (ABM) that incorporates both procedural and output utility. We reinterpret procedural utility in land use analyses and quantify it using motivations to be involved in land markets. These motivational parameters facilitate the implementation of the ABM in both Netlogo and Gama. We subsequently aim to compare both models in terms of implementation (on GIS contexts) and different initialisation results (due to random parameters). Procedural utility is defined as the value of the process of reaching an end goal – the valued processes in land use simulation methods are land markets. Processes are valued due to the satisfaction of the three psychological innate needs: autonomy; relatedness; and competence (Frey, 2008). Originally introduced in the Self Determination Theory (SDT) (Deci & Ryan, 1985), these three innate needs act as mediators between the external factors and the motivations of undergoing a certain process (Vallerand & Ratelle, 2004). Land markets as external factors can lead to different satisfaction of innate needs due to different individual motivations. To measure the satisfaction of the innate needs, SDT introduced four motivational categories: external (material benefit), introjected (avoid guilt), identified (align with moral values) and integrated motivation (enjoy the process) (Ryan & Connell, 1989). Accordingly, SDT observes motivations quantitatively by questioning why individuals undergo specific processes and scaling the answers from 0 to 4 – each answer correlates to one of the four aforementioned motivational categories. We use these motivations as an indicator of procedural utility as both are tied to the satisfaction of the innate needs. We aggregate the four motivational values to describe procedural utility. In the ABM, this allows agents to consider procedural utility during residential relocation and compare it to the traditional output utility. In summary, the paper shows the mathematical formulation of procedural. It applies a procedural utility ABM in Netlogo and Gama on both a square cell grid and a sample GIS shape file with land geometries describing land plots. It compares the Gama model with the Netlogo one, especially the GIS shape file version where Gama is more flexible with using vector GIS files. Further, the paper also showcases some insights on observed results regarding segregation in mono-centric cities due to land market preferences using the pixel based version.
Period23 Jun 2021
Event typeConference
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Procedural Utility
  • Land Use Change
  • Land Markets
  • Agent Based Simulation Models