Principles of Modeling Ecological Economic Systems
The Monte Carlo method is most widely used in the study of social and environmental problems, since it is the simplest of all computational methods suitable for solving large and complex problems, the characteristic element of which is randomness. However, in the study of socio-ecological problems, the Monte Carlo method is used differently than, for example, in physics, where it is necessary to reproduce the real situation as accurately as possible. When modeling systems, there is no need for high accuracy of the result, since the initial parameters are associated with uncertainties, and the models can not be completely adequate. In addition, the researcher is often not interested in the details; He needs to find a new way of conducting the process, to assess its main differences from the old one. Usually, such studies imply compliance with a set of principles and recommendations.
When it comes to modeling a process, it means:
- revealing of influencing factors;
- the choice of those that can be described quantitatively;
- an explanation of factors by common characteristics and a reduction in their list;
- the establishment of quantitative relationships between the elements of the process.
The system analysis specialist, excluding certain factors from his model on the grounds that they can not be quantified, must be absolutely sure that he does not shy away from solving a complex problem. Elements excluded from the model are not discarded at all - they are postponed for later consideration. When studying the results obtained with the help of the model, it is necessary to relate the results obtained to the elements excluded in the quantitative analysis.
By conducting the process of grouping together into groups of factors, it is necessary to identify which categories of costs will actually affect the results of the analysis.
Criteria for assessing results
The problem of choosing a criterion is to establish the characteristic by which the preference is determined. Criteria take into account both the costs and the result in achieving the goals. A statement of the desire to have the cheapest system is not a criterion, since it does not carry information about exactly what they want to receive at the lowest price.
It is necessary that the criterion reflects the costs and purpose. The goal can be defined as the ability to reduce damage to the natural environment, and the amount of this damage is not fixed, and costs are fixed. At specified costs, they are looking for a way to achieve the maximum of the goal.
The term purpose is used to designate certain tasks that need to be addressed in the implementation of the planned activities. It must be remembered that goals mean positive values or achievements, which we aspire to and which, as a rule, entail costs (negative values).
It is difficult to choose a qualitative criterion, in particular, because the task of selecting an environmental protection system should be divided into component parts or sub-problems. The decision-making process is inevitably divided into stages; part of the decisions are made at the highest level, and some - are transferred to the lower level. Alternatives of choice for all levels can not be analyzed simultaneously. Analysts and decision-makers always compare the alternatives of actions to only some part of the problem being solved. Other problems of choice are temporarily postponed. The goal of the final analysis is to find optimal solutions to problems, or, more precisely, to improve the proposed solutions to problems. In the language of system analysis, this process is called suboptimization.
Suboptimization gives certain advantages, because when analyzing a narrow question it can be considered in more detail. Models can be more detailed and therefore give accurate results. On the other hand, suboptimization causes more difficulties in the selection of criteria, since the criteria for lower levels can be incompatible with the criteria at higher levels.
It is necessary to remember the advantages and disadvantages of the research methods used and, in any analysis, choose a reasonable compromise solution that, on the one hand, will help to avoid too generalized models, and on the other hand, overly narrow criteria.
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