Limburg Basin Model Requirements Specification
Version 0.1


1          Modelling objectives

1.1         Development of modelling technology and methodology

1.1.1        The purpose is to combine integrated assessment modelling approaches and agent based social simulation to build a new generation of integrated assessment models that enable to investigate the environmental and socio-economic consequences resulting from the actions of agents.

1.1.2        Assessment of the advantages, limitations and disadvantages of the combination of agent based modelling and integrated assessment.

1.1.3        Involving stakeholders in the process of agent based modelling. Stakeholder participation is necessary to identify behavioural rules and goals of the involved actors on the one hand, to validate the model and to identify the needs and interests of the future model users.

1.1.4        Evaluation of theoretical constructs, in particular the application of cultural theory to identify actors as hierarchist, egalitarian or individualist. The virtue of this method is that changing characteristics of actors, for example their goals and strategies, can be incorporated into the model in a consistent way. The benefits of the use of cultural theory (or its implications) are to be assessed in terms of the effects on the simplicity of model design, execution efficiency (speed and/or memory use) and the value of the model and the model results for policy makers.


1.2         Retrospective analysis

1.2.1        Describing the evolution of the goal structure of the Maaswerken project from 1990 to 2000 and to analyse how this structure changed under the influence of stakeholders (including governmental institutions). The behaviour and the influence of stakeholders themselves may have changed over time due to their mutual interaction, the extreme events of 1993 and 1995 and changes in the socio-economic and environmental boundary conditions.

1.2.2        To assess the advantages and disadvantages of the bringing together of the widest possible set of stakeholders as well as the integration of the individual projects ( Grensmaas and Zandmaas) around 1997.

1.3         Scenario-building

1.3.1        The integrated analysis of the consequences of consistent patterns of environmental change (e.g. climate change) and economic development in relation to the Maaswerken project and other provincial and national water management strategies.

1.3.2        Building upon the retrospective analysis, the forecast of possible outcomes (i.e. the final goal structure) of the Maaswerken project and their implications for the future state of the Meuse and the related river functions.

2          Model users’ objectives

The users of the models and the outputs from the models will in principle be the Maaswerken organisation, the provincial government and academics. Other stakeholders will quite probably be interested, but the Maaswerken organisation has to give permission for the model results to be distributed to other parties.


2.1         Maaswerken project management

2.1.1        Planning and policy evaluation tool through scenario analysis.

2.1.2        Political and public relations tool: justification of scale and scope and the integrated nature of the Maaswerken project.

2.1.3        Communication tool to support the requirements of the project managers to engage policy makers and engineers in a common dialogue.

2.2         Province of Limburg

Evaluation of policy options associated to the Maaswerken project: e.g., drinking water supply (shift from ground to surface water), decreasing pollution (for example from agriculture) and area planning. Here, area planning is about, for example, the location of new housing in the winter bed or the acquisition of farmland for nature reserves in order to increase the retention of the land.

2.3         ICIS-CPM

The model might be used to evaluate the usefulness of cultural theory as mentioned in 1.1.5.

3          Mode of model use

3.1         Participatory process

The ICIS team will operate the models on behalf of the stakeholder-users during workshop sessions for which fast scenario generation will be required. A more detailed post-workshop analysis of those scenarios, at finer grain, to support or undermine the workshop conclusions might be performed afterwards, with smaller time constraints.


3.2         Academic research

3.2.1        The use of models to assess the theoretical issues such as the usefulness of cultural theory requires some facility to change between a single agent structure and a structure in which agents are ordered along their “cultural perspectives”.

3.2.2        The use of models to support interdisciplinary and multi-centre research requires the facility to quickly change agent specifications without having to undertake significant changes in the implementation of other aspects of the models.