RBSim 2: Simulating the complex interactions between human movement and the outdoor recreation environment

Robert Itami, Rob Raulings, Glen MacLaren, Kathleen Hirst, Randy Gimblett, Dino Zanon, Peter Chladek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

32 Scopus citations


This paper describes advancements in recreation management using new technology that couples Geographic Information Systems (GIS) with Intelligent Agents to simulate recreation behaviour in real world settings. RBSim 2 (Recreation Behaviour Simulator) is a computer simulation program that enables recreation managers to explore the consequences of change to any one or more variables so that the goal of accommodating increasing visitor use is achieved while maintaining the quality of visitor experience. RBSim provides both a qualitative understanding of management scenarios by the use of map graphics from a GIS as well as a quantitative understanding of management consequences by generating statistics during the simulation. Managers are able to identify points of over crowding, bottlenecks in circulation systems, and conflicts between different user groups. RBSim 2 is a tool designed specifically for the purposes of simulating human recreation behaviour in outdoor environments. The software is designed to allow recreation researchers and managers to simulate any recreation environment where visitors are restricted to movement on a network (roads, trails, rivers, etc.). The software architecture is comprised of the following components: • GIS module to enter travel network, facilities, and elevation data • Agent module to specify tourist personality types, travel modes, and agent rules • Typical Trip planner to specify trips as an aggregation of entry/exit nodes, arrival curves, destinations and agents. • Scenario designer to specify combinations of travel networks, and typical trip plans. • Statistical module to specify outputs and summarise simulation results This paper describes the RBSim software architecture with specific reference to the trip planning algorithms used by the recreation agents. An application of the simulator at Port Campbell National Park, Victoria Australia is described.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)278-286
Number of pages9
JournalJournal for Nature Conservation
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2003


  • Geographic Information Systems
  • Individual based models
  • Intelligent agents
  • Recreation Behaviour Simulator
  • Recreation management
  • Recreation simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Nature and Landscape Conservation


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