Temporal Domain

In the temporal domain we first figure out the specific rates of the main processes that we are to model and decide for how long we want to observe the system. If there is little change registered over the study period, the model may not need to be dynamic. It may be static and focus on other aspects of the system. If temporal change is important, we need to identify how this change occurs. In reality, time is continuous. However, in some cases it may be useful to think of time as discrete and describe the system using the event-based formalism.

We should start thinking about the appropriate resolution of our temporal model. This resolution is dictated by the goal, which tells us how often we need to update the

Initialization

Simulation

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Initialization

Simulation

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Figure 1 A conceptual diagram for time in a landscape model. Note that while many processes actually occur at the same time, we need to sequence them when putting in a model. Sequencing of processes is important and may produce quite different results depending upon which process is put in the model first, and which one next.

Figure 1 A conceptual diagram for time in a landscape model. Note that while many processes actually occur at the same time, we need to sequence them when putting in a model. Sequencing of processes is important and may produce quite different results depending upon which process is put in the model first, and which one next.

model to match the expected temporal detail of the study: is once a year enough as when we model forests, or do we need to track the dynamics every 1/100th of a second as when we model the movement of a fly wing? An example of a conceptual diagram depicting the sequence of events in a landscape model is presented in Figure 1.

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