Journal article Open Access
Modeling interactions between social and natural systems is a hard task. It involves collecting data, building up a conceptual approach, implementing, calibrating, simulating, validating, and possibly repeating these steps again and again. There are different conceptual approaches proposed in the literature to tackle this problem. However, for complex problems it is better to combine different approaches, giving rise to a need for flexible and extensible frameworks for modeling nature–society interactions. In this paper we present TerraME, an open source toolbox that supports multi-paradigm and multi-scale modeling of coupled human-environmental systems. It enables models that combine agent-based, cellular automata, system dynamics, and discrete event simulation paradigms. TerraME has a GIS interface for managing real-world geospatial data and uses Lua, an expressive scripting language.