高级空间分析中心（Centre for Advanced SpatialAnalysis）主任
I: As you mentioned in our previous seminar, cities are becoming more complex so fast that it poses a major challenge for urban simulation. How do you think can we tackle with this challenge? To develop models in small pieces, and on different levels of sophistication, or other approaches?
B: That is a very good question. The cities are becoming more complex, faster than our ability to keep up with them. I think we can tackle it certainly, and we are tackling it. And there is the move to get better and better data, the move to actually develop different sorts of models of the system. Models by their very nature are simple and they have to be. That is the definition of model. They have to be relatively simple or pick out certain aspects, which are important to the complexity. So if things are getting more complex, there might be more aspects to pick out, to embody in one or more models. So that has to be an issue.
Developing models in small pieces, yes. I think that is a reasonably good strategy. That is not in line with what I was saying earlier on that some of the newer models are from a problem perspective and are picking the best and the most appropriate from these other main-style models. And building them on different levels of sophistication, yes. I think all of those things are things that need to be done in terms of dealing with complexity.
The other issue, of course, is that our
ability to predict is on the extreme scrutiny. It is under a lot of attention.
It is quite clear we sort of know that we can’t predict the future, but we are
trying to predict conditionally. And this I think is we’ve yet to get to grips
with what prediction means in social systems. We are learning a lot at present
time about predictability. And I think there are some other things happening
too. We are getting more opportunities to experiment in cities, in limited
kinds of ways, because things can be done in a very short term and make an
impact and can see how population respond. So I think there are some new
opportunities being posed by information technology on this, by the