Targeting Reusability and Replaceability of Simulation Models for Agricultural Systems

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Marcello Donatelli, Andrea Omicini, Gianni Fila, Cesare Monti
Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Christian Richardt Jensen, John R. Porter (eds.)
VIII Congress of the European Society of Agronomy (ESA 2004), pages 237–238
European Society of Agronomy
July 2004

The demand for ever more complex software systems calls for new and specialised engineering models and techniques. In the domain of agro-ecological modelling, many efforts have been devoted in the last decade to define software designs which improve the efficiency of the process of model development by taking advantage of new technologies. Examples of such integrated Modelling Frameworks (MF) are ModCom (Hillyer et al., 2003), IMA (Villa, 2001), TIME (Rahman et al., 2003), OMS (David et al., 2002); they use different levels of abstractions and different technologies to allow the creation of reusable and interchangeable model components. A special case is represented by Simile (Muetzelfeldt and Massheder, 2003), and to some extent by IMA, which question the concept of architecture per se, highlighting the need to define ontologies and to move from model-as-program to model-as-design, making use of declarative modelling.
While waiting for the availability of tools and open systems which will make the underlying software structure irrelevant to model developers, the need to deliver model applications ready for specific use still requires to take into account several non-trivial software-related aspects.
The objective of this paper is to present some results of the analysis done within the SIPEAA project (Donatelli et al., 2002) to define the key features to design model components.

funding project
wrenchSIPEAA — Strumenti Integrati per la Pianificazione Eco-compatibile in Aziende Agricole (01/01/2002–31/12/2004)