Common modeling environment (CME): A framework for integrated decision support systems

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2001
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Abstract

Assessing impact of technologies and policies requires the use of a suite of decision support models that address the complexity of economic systems at the sector level, farm level economics and human welfare, crop production, grazing land production, livestock performance and resulting environmental processes. Typically "integration" of these processes involved manual transfer of data files between applications or limited digital integration in a subset of modules. Further, there was limited ability to modify models in a manner that allowed tighter "digital" integration. There is growing need within SANREM and with other partners, including FAO, to package a number of different research simulations together to develop a more detailed and holistic view of non-homogeneous activities and environments. This need to package integrated suites of models so that they can be run on a single computer or internet/intranet, led to the pursuit of the Common Assessing impact of technologies and policies requires the use of a suite of decision support models that address the complexity of economic systems at the sector level, farm level economics and human welfare, crop production, grazing land production, livestock performance and resulting environmental processes. Typically "integration" of these processes involved manual transfer of data files between applications or limited digital integration in a subset of modules. Further, there was limited ability to modify models in a manner that allowed tighter "digital" integration. There is growing need within SANREM and with other partners, including FAO, to package a number of different research simulations together to develop a more detailed and holistic view of non-homogeneous activities and environments. This need to package integrated suites of models so that they can be run on a single computer or internet/intranet, led to the pursuit of the Common Modeling Environment (CME) concept. CME is an evolving set of information technology that is modular and designed to grow in sophistication as needs are identified within organizations. This system brings cross-platform delivery, a scalable distributed computing model, and shared common input data to many research models with minimal model modification. A model server process can be run on any platform that has a JAVA virtual machine installed and quickly allows incorporation of stand alone models without undue stress on research model developers.

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Keywords
Modeling, Adoption of innovations, Economic modeling and analysis, Common modeling environment (cme), Economical models, Sociological models, Biophysical model, Environmental models, Analysis, Integration of models, Non-homogeneous activities, Economic systems, Impact assessment, Ecosystem Farm/Enterprise Scale Field Scale Watershed
Citation
Paper presented at the SANREM CRSP Research Scientific Synthesis Conference, Athens, GA, 28-30 November 2001