Comparing modelling frameworks- A workshop approach.
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Of concern to the environmental modelling community is the proliferation of individual, and individualistic, models and the time associated with common model development tasks such as data transformation, coding of models, and visualisation. One way of addressing this problem is the adoption of modelling frameworks. These frameworks, or environments, support modular model development through provision of libraries of core environmental modelling modules, as well as reusable tools for data manipulation, analysis and visualisation. Such frameworks have a range of features and requirements related to the architecture, protocols and methods of operation, and it is difficult to compare the modelling workload and performance of alternative frameworks without using them to undertake identical, or similar modelling tasks. This paper describes the outcomes of a workshop to compare three frameworks - the Spatial Modelling Environment (SME), Tarsier and the Integrated Component Modelling System (ICMS). A simple environmental problem linking hillslope flow and soil erosion processes with a receiving water store was designed and then implemented in the three frameworks. It was found that the SME and Tarsier contained many components well suited to handling complex spatial and temporal models, with ICMS being an integrated framework tailored for smaller scale problems. Of the three tested frameworks, the SME proved superior in supporting problem description, Tarsier provided more flexibility in linking and validating the model components, and ICMS served as an effective prototyping tool. The test problem, and associated data and parameters, are described in detail to allow others to undertake this test.
Environmental Modelling & Software
© 2006 Elsevier. Please refer to the journal's website for access to the definitive, published version.