The main focus of this article is to present and relate four different frameworks in which spatially explicit individual-based models (IBMs) can be defined. These frameworks differ in the way space and time are modeled; each can be treated either discretely or continuously. The emphasis is put on constructing and simulating one of the simplest single-species IBMs in each spatio-temporal framework, discussing some of their technical subtleties, and deriving corresponding mean-field models when the homogeneous mixing conditions are assumed to hold. The four frameworks are more supplements than competitors. Since at almost every step of IBM construction several alternatives are a priori plausible I discuss the most important ones in more details. This article seems to be the first attempt to collect and synthesize information of this kind that is scattered over the literature. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
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