The Space-Time Analysis of Complex Systems (STACS) Group in the department of geography at San Diego State University aims to understand complex systems, which include coupled natural and human systems, land use and land cover change (LULCC) systems, cyberspace systems, and complex human-environment-species systems. We develop methodology (e.g., indicators, algorithms, models) and seek insights (e.g., drivers and relationships) into such systems. Complex systems are often characterized by high dimensionality, hierarchical structure, heterogeneity, nonlinearity, feedback, path dependence, multi-finality, and so on. We tackle such complexities using theories and methods from multiple fields including geographic information science (especially GIS, remote sensing, spatial analysis), computer science, mathematical and statistical analysis/modeling, landscape ecology, and sociology.
Space-time analysis is an increasingly recognized field that focuses on not only spatial heterogeneity of many phenomena or events of interest (a strength of traditional GIS), but also on their temporal heterogeneity and potential drivers behind the related space-time patterns. Given the above complexities, what insights could we gain, and how should we approach such systems for better understandings? Our group aims to answer these questions from both theory and applications.