Submitted to: Modular Modeling Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 2, 1997
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Graphical user interfaces (GUIs) are computer programs that utilize graphics extensively to facilitate interaction between users and complicated scientific or mathematical models. GUIs can be used to access and process required model inputs from either local or networked databases; simplify the user¿s tasks of selecting and modifying parameter values; communicating the user¿s selections to the model, for example, as input files; and communicating the model¿s output to the user as graphics. In commercial software for personal computers, individual applications often have had individual interfaces; though with the introduction of the Apple Macintonsh**TM and Microsoft Windows**TM operating systems, most new software programs now have similar appearance and utilities. In natural resource modeling efforts in USDA agencies, many models exist and each has its own set of (often common) input requirements, but few if any USDA models have truly user-friendly graphical user interfaces. The issues involved in developing common graphical user interfaces for multiple models, provides information on one current project of this type, and will impact future projects requiring modular and customizable GUIs.