Articles | Volume 8, issue 10
Model description paper
09 Oct 2015
Model description paper |  | 09 Oct 2015

An open and extensible framework for spatially explicit land use change modelling: the lulcc R package

S. Moulds, W. Buytaert, and A. Mijic

Abstract. We present the lulcc software package, an object-oriented framework for land use change modelling written in the R programming language. The contribution of the work is to resolve the following limitations associated with the current land use change modelling paradigm: (1) the source code for model implementations is frequently unavailable, severely compromising the reproducibility of scientific results and making it impossible for members of the community to improve or adapt models for their own purposes; (2) ensemble experiments to capture model structural uncertainty are difficult because of fundamental differences between implementations of alternative models; and (3) additional software is required because existing applications frequently perform only the spatial allocation of change. The package includes a stochastic ordered allocation procedure as well as an implementation of the CLUE-S algorithm. We demonstrate its functionality by simulating land use change at the Plum Island Ecosystems site, using a data set included with the package. It is envisaged that lulcc will enable future model development and comparison within an open environment.

Short summary
The contribution of lulcc is to provide a free and open-source framework for land use change modelling. The software, which is provided as an R package, addresses problems associated with the current paradigm of closed-source, specialised land use change modelling software which disrupt the scientific process. It is an attempt to move the discipline towards open and transparent science and to ensure land use change models are accessible to scientists working across the geosciences.