Creating realistic synthetic populations at varying spatial scales : a comparative critique of population synthesis techniques
There are several established methodologies for generating synthetic populations. These include deterministic reweighting, conditional probability (Monte Carlo simulation) and simulated annealing. However, each of these approaches is limited by, for example, the level of geography to which it can be applied, or number of characteristics of the real population that can be replicated. The research examines and critiques the performance of each of these methods over varying spatial scales. Results show that the most consistent and accurate populations generated over all the spatial scales are produced from the simulated annealing algorithm. The relative merits and limitations of each method are evaluated in the discussion.