The SIMPOP Project

Scientific Position

The Simpop project is a joint collaboration between scientists in geography and computer science. It has been the first application of multi-agents systems in geography (Simpop1, 1996). Thanks to advances in computing power and higher expressiveness of programming languages and libraries, an improved model has been developed (Simpop2, 2006).

Through multi-agent modeling of cities systems evolution, geographers and computer scientists are tackling questions like:
  • What makes us think of systems of cities as complex systems ?

  • To what extents are they self-organised, can they be controlled ?

  • Which cities will rise or decline during the next decades ?

  • Can cities escape from general trends through clever governance ?

  • Are global cities an innovation of the 20th century ?

  • What is comparable in the evolution of cities in countries as different as United States and South-Africa ?

The SIMPOP platform is a geosimulation tool for exploring the future of cities and reconstructing their past dynamics.

Common features in the genesis and long-term evolution of cities help in understanding and predicting their future dynamics. Because of the multiple linkages and interactions which sustain these dynamics, modelling their evolution requires computer simulation.

The evolutionary processes common to all urban system are integrated in a Simpop2 Generic Model which reconstructs the spatio-temporal dynamics of a system of cities over several centuries. Several instantiated models are applied to a variety of countries illustrating four types of urban genesis in the world (Europe Long Term, United States, South Africa, India) and to predictive scenarii (Eurosim).

The research has been supported by several programs of the European Commission and a program from the french ministry of research and the CNRS (see the Credits and partners page for details).


  • Three new models in the simpop family Update!the new models currently being developed in the Simpop project : MARIUS, SimpopNet and the China-India model, have been added.MARIUS deals with sytem of cities in Russia, SimpopNEt ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2014, 6:04 AM by paul chapron
  • Urban Systems Modeling: advances from GeoDiverCity and MECHANICITY ERC programmes (Satellite of ECCS 2013) On the September 19th, 2013 was held a satellite meeting during the European Conference on Complex System (ECCS, ) in Barcelona.This meeting was set up for ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2014, 4:00 AM by paul chapron
  • ECTQG 2013 Dourdan The 18th European Colloquium on Theoretical and Quantitative Geography (ECTQG) was held in Dourdan, from the 5th to the 9th of September. Various materials (program, abstracts and presentations) can be ...
    Posted Jan 11, 2014, 4:14 AM by paul chapron
  • Simpop at the 2012 AAG annual meeting in New York We are happy to announce that we will part of the "Agent-Based Models and Geographical Systems" session organized by Alison Heppenstall, Andrew Crooks and their colleagues. Communications in relation ...
    Posted Sep 18, 2011, 5:28 AM by Thomas Louail
  • Back from ECTQG 2011 (download slides) We were proud to present our current research on Simpop at the bi-annual European Colloquium of Theoretical and Quantitative Geography in Athens, Greece. You can download the slides of ...
    Posted Sep 15, 2011, 9:02 AM by Thomas Louail
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Last Update 10th January 2014