Understanding, envisioning, and planning

Complex Human-Environment Systems

for improved sustainability, justice, and equality

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The complex human-environment systems (CHES) group

The complex human-environment systems (CHES) group aims to achieve better CHES understanding, envisioning, and planning for improved sustainability. We view human-environment systems as complex systems, which are often characterized by a variety of complexity features such as high dimensionality, hierarchical structure, heterogeneity, nonlinearity, feedback, path dependence, emergence, and multi-finality. Complexity theory, landscape ecology, geographic information science, cyberinfrastructure theory and technology, (big) data science, and other relevant domain knowledge (e.g., sociology, demography, economics) leverage theoretical and methodological support toward our CHES research. We also aim to advance the theory, methodology, and applications in these disciplines. Our CHES research is currently applied to the following exemplar areas:

  • Revealing space-time dynamics & mechanisms of complex human-environment systems, including applications in wildlife habitat, biodiversity, ecosystem services, human health, hazard-disaster analysis, and urban development

  • Developing and advancing geospatial analytics (e.g., methods, tools, platforms), especially space-time analysis methods and techniques

  • Modeling human decisions, behaviors, and their consequences on various CHES with a focus on rules in agent-based models

  • Establishing and maintaining various CHES research, education, and outreach networks that highlight CHES sustainability, equality, and justice

To handle CHES-related complexity features, we are developing a CHES-oriented methodology for interdisciplinary and inter-scale integration. Our CHES methodology focuses on digital representation, visualization, space-time analysis, and micro-level modeling and simulation of various landscape and human processes. Below are a few exemplar models, demos, or movies (note: for test purpose only; the final versions will come up soon).


A Web-based model                                        A Street Pedestrian Demo

Contact us at ches@complexities.org
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The most recent update: June 24, 2020.

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