Complementarity of symbolic and numerical approaches
This special issue of the International Journal of Geomatics, to which three members of Géographie-cités – Julie Gravier, Lucie Nahassia and Lena Sanders – have contributed, allows us to resituate the respective contributions on the possible and necessary complementarity of numerical and symbolic approaches for the study of spatial dynamics.
This scientific problematic has animated the meetings of the Action Prospective of the GDR CNRS MAGIS during four years, from 2015 to 2020, in interdisciplinarity, of course. Furthermore, this question was analysed from a particularly reflexive point of view, where the different participants have shared their feedbacks and/or formulated original proposals from the different practices experienced in interdisciplinarity.
Introduction: Complementarity of symbolic and numerical approaches for the study of spatial dynamics
Is it possible to identify a methodological approach for studying spatial dynamics, an approach that would draw on the respective contributions of symbolic and numerical approaches?
The first task of the group – which included scientists from different disciplines: geographers, computer scientists, archaeologists, historians, biologists and agronomists – was to agree on what the notion of ontology meant for each of them.
Download Christine Plumejeaud-Perreau, Mireille Fargette, Julie Gravier, Thérèse Libourel, Eric Masson, et al. Introduction : Complementarity of symbolic and numerical approaches for the study of spatial dynamics. International Journal of Geomatics, 2022, 31 (1-2), pp.7-19 (French version only)
Digital versus Symbolic, Ontological. Dialogue Between Two Approaches
Hélène Mathian, Lena Sanders
The aim of this article is to compare a statistical approach, “geometric data analysis” (GDA), and a simulation approach, the multi-agent systems (MAS), considered as representative, respectively, of a numerical and a symbolic approach of modelling. The case study concerns segregation of scholar space in the Parisian area. First the different steps leading from a thematic question to the development of an operational model to analyze this question are presented.
The central and essential role of a conceptual framework at the interface of both is shown. Indeed, before operationalisation, it is necessary to verify the compatibility between the theoretical backgrounds associated to the thematic hypotheses and the model considered. An ontological approach is then presented and used to compare GDA and MAS in order to identify their complementarities and show how these approaches can dialogue in the same research. The close interweaving between numerical and symbolic aspects in each of these approaches is shown. This leads to the construction of a “spiral of interactions” between GDA and MAS which interest is illustrated by the back and forth between modeling structure and dynamics in the case of scholar segregation.
Hélène Mathian, Lena Sanders. Digital versus Symbolic, Ontological: dialogue Between Two Approaches. Revue internationale de Géomatique. Vol.31, Issue 1-2, 2022, page(s) 21 – 45
Understanding Shift in Categories to Study Spatial Dynamics Over Long Time
Christine Plumejeaud-Perreau, Lucie Nahassia, Julie Gravier
Through three examples coming from long-term studies of population dynamics in France, intra and inter-urban, this paper shows that the introduction of some “a-historical” ontologies was required to implement quantitative analyses of spatial evolutions. However, we demonstrate that these ontologies are far from being neutral, and that they do not dissolve the specificity of the sources we used, but on the contrary, they constitute situated knowledge. Beyond these criticisms, the authors tend to argue that the process of construction and dialogue established around ontology is very beneficial to research, that it is a foundation for an interdisciplinary, shared and sustainable Science.
Christine Plumejeaud-Perreau, Lucie Nahassia, Julie Gravier. Understanding Shift in Categories to Study Spatial Dynamics Over Long Time. Revue internationale de Géomatique. Vol.31, Issue 1-2, 2022, page(s) 47 – 80