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Gary Polhill

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Recent publications

Staff picture: Gary Polhill
Information and Computational Sciences
gary.polhill@hutton.ac.uk
+44 (0)844 928 5428 (*)

The James Hutton Institute
Craigiebuckler
Aberdeen AB15 8QH
Scotland UK

Gary Polhill did a degree in Artificial Intelligence and a PhD in Neural Networks before spending 18 months in industry as a professional programmer. Since 1997 he has been working at the Institute on agent-based modelling of human-natural systems.

Current research interests 

I specialise in agent-based modelling of socio-environmental systems, and rigorous approaches to their design and interpretation. Agent-based modelling involves explicit representation of individuals and their interactions, observing the emergent effects these have on the dynamics of the system. It is a relatively new technique, offering an alternative to more traditional approaches to formal analysis of social systems. Within this context, I am particularly interested in options for managing environmental change in coupled human-natural systems through incentive schemes, but in the context of other drivers of human behaviour. We have developed models that can simulate and compare the effects of different rules for incentivising land managers on biodiversity at the landscape scale, whilst varying other drivers of decision change, such as markets, climate and social norms.

A key issue in developing models of this kind is transparency, and I am interested in the role of formal ontologies in describing and annotating simulation models and experiments, and in collaboration with the University of Aberdeen, developing Semantic Grid concepts to support agent-based social simulation and e-Social Science. These approaches also have potential in integrating submodels together whilst assuring consistency of the coupled whole, something that has formed a significant portion of my work lately.

Bibliography 

Recent publications


  • Email: info@hutton.ac.uk
  • Phone: +44 (0)844 928 5428
  • Craigiebuckler Aberdeen AB15 8QH Scotland
  • Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA Scotland
A Scottish charitable company limited by guarantee. Registered in Scotland No SC374831.
Registered office: The James Hutton Institute, Invergowrie Dundee DD2 5DA. Charity No SCO41796

Printed from /staff/gary-polhill on 27/05/16 09:20:56 AM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.