Submitted to: Advances in Geosciences
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/15/2004
Publication Date: 3/1/2005
Citation: Ahuja, L.R., Ascough Ii, J.C., David, O. 2005. Developing natural resource models using the object modeling system: feasibility and challenges. Advances in Geosciences. 3:1-8, 2005. Interpretive Summary: The Object Modeling System (OMS) is a Java-based framework for the development, testing, and application of environmental simulation models. In general, the framework consists of a library of science, control, and database modules and a means to assemble the selected modules into an application-specific modeling package. The OMS targets the full lifecycle of model development, starting from the model source development, individual component testing, component integration into models, and model application/deployment. In this paper, the feasibility and challenges of using the Object Modeling System (OMS) for natural resource model development will be explored. We also present examples of integrating a simple water balance model and a large monolithic model into the OMS. Advantages of the OMS include: 1) reduction in duplication of model development effort; 2) natural resource models will be much easier to build, access, and use; 3) improvement in long-term maintainability of existing and new natural resource models; 4) greater consistency of modeling for particular problems and scales; and 5) improvement in response and delivery times in scientific modeling projects. In summary, the current OMS development tool will leverage sizeable investments of developer time and money to facilitate an interdisciplinary effort extracting the best scientific routines of existing models, and provide integration and interoperability of existing and new scientific modules and modern data resources.
Technical Abstract: Current challenges in natural resource management have created demand for integrated, flexible, and easily parameterized hydrologic models. Most of these monolithic models are not modular, thus modifications (e.g., changes in process representation) require considerable time, effort, and expense. In this paper, the feasibility and challenges of using the Object Modeling System (OMS) for natural resource model development will be explored. Examples of integrating a simplistic water balance model and a large monolithic model into the OMS also will be presented. The OMS is a Java-based modeling framework that facilitates simulation model development, evaluation, and deployment. The framework is supported by data dictionary, data retrieval, GIS, graphical visualization, and statistical analysis utility modules. Specific features of the OMS that will be discussed include: 1) how to reduce duplication of effort in natural resource modeling; 2) how to make natural resource models easier to build, apply, and evaluate; 3) how to facilitate long-term maintainability of existing and new natural resource models; and 4) how to improve the quality of natural resource model code and ensure credibility of model implementations. The component-oriented and modular approach of the OMS and the modules/models implemented in it will provide the basis for more efficient and internationally collaborative model development in the future. This type of integrative and open-source approach is desperately needed in order to solve global challenges impacting natural resource systems such as sustainable management of natural resource systems and the impact of global climate change on natural resource systems.