Compiling and using input–output frameworks through collaborative virtual laboratories
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Compiling, deploying and utilising large-scale databases that integrate environmental and economic data have traditionally been labour- and cost-intensive processes, hindered by the large amount of disparate and misaligned data that must be collected and harmonised. The Australian Industrial Ecology Virtual Laboratory (IELab) is a novel, collaborative approach to compiling large-scale environmentally extended multi-region input-output (MRIO) models. The utility of the IELab product is greatly enhanced by avoiding the need to lock in anMRIO structure at the time the MRIO system is developed. The IELab advances the idea of the "mother-daughter" construction principle, whereby a regionally and sectorally very detailed "mother" table is set up, from which "daughter" tables are derived to suit specific research questions. By introducing a third tier - the "root classification" - IELab users are able to define their own mother-MRIO configuration, at no additional cost in terms of data handling. Customised mother-MRIOs can then be built,which maximise disaggregation in aspects that are useful to a family of research questions. The second innovation in the IELab system is to provide a highly automated collaborative research platform in a cloud-computing environment, greatly expediting workflows and making these computational benefits accessible to all users.
Science of the Total Environment
Environmental Sciences not elsewhere classified