Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


The dissertation presents joint considerations of the concepts of (1) entropy maximization and population potential and (2) information minimization and population potential.;In order to calculate population potential it is necessary to determine the probability that a randomly selected individual at one location will have a spatial interation at another location. The methods of maximum entropy and minimum information provide a means for estimating such probabilities. Population potential is closely related to, and derivable from, spatial interaction and this allows an indirect connection to be made between population potential and the methods of maximum entropy and minimum information. This is, therefore, a reconsideration of the potential concept within the context of these contemporary methods of probability estimation and it addresses the question of whether it is possible to derive, and practicable to employ, entropy maximizing and information minimizing population potential functions.;The amount of potential interaction between places is a function of both the attenuating effect of distance and the emissivity of the origin, and an attempt is made to demonstrate that maximum entropy is of relevance to the former and minimum information to the latter. In the former case a quadratic gamma family of distance response functions for potentials is derived, and in the latter case a method is presented for allowing for changes in the emissivity of the origin by sequentially adding alternative prior probability distributions.



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