Documenting, storing, and executing models in Ecology: A conceptual framework and real implementation in a global change monitoring program


Many of the best practices concerning the development of ecological models or analytic techniques published in the scientific literature are not fully available to modelers but rather are stored in scientists’ digital or biological memories. We propose that it is time to address the problem of storing, documenting, and executing ecological models and analytical procedures. In this paper, we propose a conceptual framework to design and implement a web application that will help to meet this challenge. This tool will foster cooperation among scientists, enhancing the creation of relevant knowledge that could be transferred to environmental managers. We have implemented this conceptual framework in a tool called ModeleR. This is being used to document, share, and execute more than 200 models and analytical processes associated with a global change monitoring program that is being undertaken in the Sierra Nevada Mountains (south Spain). ModeleR uses the concept of scientific workflow to connect and execute different types of models and analytical processes. Finally, we have envisioned the creation of a federation of model repositories where models documented within a local repository could be linked and even executed by other researchers.

Environmental Modelling & Software
Blas M. Benito
Blas M. Benito
Staff Researcher