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Recent developments in simulation languages and powerful, graphic work stations have added new dimensions to the modelling process. Object-orientated programming has great potential for describing complex systems in a well-structured fashion. It also offers a highly sophisticated programming environment and its user interface is probably the most advanced yet developed. MECOM is a simulation environment that allows interactive development and testing of ecological models. Target users of this software are biological oceanographers, marine ecologists and water quality researchers. Models are defined by creating a network of interdependent nodes. In the context of marine ecosystem simulation, the nodes represent the biomass reservoir of each taxa in the ecological community under study. The node connections represent flow pathways of materials or energy in the ecosystem. Each node is associated with a differential equation representing the change of biomass. Information from the graphical representation of the network is used during the compilation of this formula to check the plausibility of flow directions. Once activated, the simulation runs as a background process. Model parameters can be modified while the model is being simulated and predictions for the various state variables can be viewed interactively during program execution.

Additional information

Authors: GABRIC A J, Griffith University, Brisbane (AU);KOHL M, JRC Ispra (IT);REALINI G, JRC Ispra (IT)
Bibliographic Reference: Paper presented: 3rd International Software Exhibition for Environmental Science and Engineering, Como (IT), Oct. 13-19, 1991
Availability: Available from (1) as Paper EN 36416 ORA
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