Development and application of coupled system dynamics and game theory: A dynamic water conflict resolution method

Mehdi Zomorodian, Sai Hin Lai, Mehran Homayounfar, Shaliza Ibrahim, Gareth Pender

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Conflicts over water resources can be highly dynamic and complex due to the various factors which can affect such systems, including economic, engineering, social, hydrologic, environmental and even political, as well as the inherent uncertainty involved in many of these factors. Furthermore, the conflicting behavior, preferences and goals of stakeholders can often make such conflicts even more challenging. While many game models, both cooperative and non-cooperative, have been suggested to deal with problems over utilizing and sharing water resources, most of these are based on a static viewpoint of demand points during optimization procedures. Moreover, such models are usually developed for a single reservoir system, and so are not really suitable for application to an integrated decision support system involving more than one reservoir. This paper outlines a coupled simulation-optimization modeling method based on a combination of system dynamics (SD) and game theory (GT). The method harnesses SD to capture the dynamic behavior of the water system, utilizing feedback loops between the system components in the course of the simulation. In addition, it uses GT concepts, including pure-strategy and mixed-strategy games as well as the Nash Bargaining Solution (NBS) method, to find the optimum allocation decisions over available water in the system. To test the capability of the proposed method to resolve multi-reservoir and multi-objective conflicts, two different deterministic simulation-optimization models with increasing levels of complexity were developed for the Langat River basin in Malaysia. The later is a strategic water catchment that has a range of different stakeholders and managerial bodies, which are however willing to cooperate in order to avoid unmet demand. In our first model, all water users play a dynamic pure-strategy game. The second model then adds in dynamic behaviors to reservoirs to factor in inflow uncertainty and adjust the strategies for the reservoirs using the mixed-strategy game and Markov chain methods. The two models were then evaluated against three performance indices: Reliability, Resilience and Vulnerability (R-R-V). The results showed that, while both models were well capable of dealing with conflict resolution over water resources in the Langat River basin, the second model achieved a substantially improved performance through its ability to deal with dynamicity, complexity and uncertainty in the river system.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0188489
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume12
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Dec 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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