Fusing and disaggregating models, data and analysis tools for a dynamic science–society interface
Published:January 01, 2017
E. C. Rowe, D. G. Wright, N. Bertrand, S. Reis, 2017. "Fusing and disaggregating models, data and analysis tools for a dynamic science–society interface", Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges, A. T. Riddick, H. Kessler, J. R. A. Giles
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Society requires rapid, most-probable predictions for specific and/or multifaceted questions related to environmental and geological science. In principle, models that encapsulate disciplinary knowledge are useful tools for making predictions and testing theory, but academic rewards favour disciplinary specialism and a proliferation of often insufficiently tested models. Decision makers have to assess the quality and robustness of predictions for complex environmental issues, and may prefer a model that performs accurately in a case study to a more parsimonious and generalizable model. Predictive ecosystem models tend to grow, as more processes are considered, even when a simpler model may be more appropriate and give results that are easier to interpret within a policy-relevant timeframe. Model fusion provides a practical way to combine knowledge from different disciplines, but can accelerate model growth. How then can we facilitate the evolution of useful predictive models? Coherent design is essential. When combining models it is often necessary to resolve overlapping scope, so tools need to allow for the disaggregation of model implementations as well as their fusion. Modelling software and integration frameworks can help resolve technical constraints, but to make models useful and used it is essential to involve stakeholders in their design and interpretation.
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Integrated Environmental Modelling to Solve Real World Problems: Methods, Vision and Challenges
The discipline of Integrated Environmental Modelling (IEM) has developed in order to solve complex environmental problems, for example understanding the impacts of climate change on the physical environment. IEM provides methods to fuse or link models together, this in turn requires facilities to make models discoverable and also to make the outputs of modelling easily visualized.
The vision and challenges for IEM going forward are summarized by leading proponents. Several case studies describe the application of model fusion to a range of real-world problems including integrating groundwater and recharge models within the UK Environment Agency, and the development of ‘catastrophe’ models to predict better the impact of natural hazards. Communicating modelling results to end users who are often not specialist modellers is also an emerging area of research addressed within the volume. Also included are papers that highlight current developments of the technology platforms underpinning model fusion.