Before joining the School of Information, Systems and Modeling and leading the Center on Persuasive Systems for Wise Adaptive Living (PERSWADE) at the Faculty of Engineering and IT, Alexey was professor of Spatio-Temporal Systems Modeling for Sustainability Science at ITC, University of Twente in the Netherlands. Prior to that he was coordinating the Chesapeake Research Consortium Community Modeling Program, and was also Principal Research Scientist at John's Hopkins University, USA. He has spent one year with the AAAS Science and Technology Fellowship program working with the US Army Corps of Engineers. For over ten years he was with the Institute for Ecological Economics, Univ. of Maryland and Vermont. He has his MSc and PhD from Moscow State University, Russia.
See also my personal webpage for more information.
Dr Voinov is the director of the Research Centre on Persuasive Systems for Wise Adaptive Living (PERSWADE)
Associate Editor of the Journal for Environmental Modeling and Software and past-president of the International Environmental Modeling and Software Society.
Can supervise: YES
My academic interests evolve around spatial dynamic modeling of socio-environmental systems and sustainability science in application to decision support and policy making. In particular I am interested in
Simulation modeling of environmental and economic systems
- Landscape and watershed modeling, spatial models
- Systems analysis in ecology and economics
- Integrated modeling
Environmental management and decision support
- Participatory modeling
- Environmental policy and planning
- Sustainable energy, bio-energy
- Water-energy-land nexus
- Transitions to low-carbon economy
I am a keen advocate of stakeholder involvement in modeling and decision making.
I teach courses on systems modeling, in particular in application to socio-environmental modeling.
I wrote a book on "Systems Science and Modeling for Ecological Economics" (Academic Press/Elsevier)
Wenkel, KO, Wieland, R, Mirschel, W, Schultz, A, Kampichler, C, Kirilenko, A & Voinov, A 2008, Chapter Sixteen Regional Models of Intermediate Complexity (REMICs) - A New Direction in Integrated Landscape Modelling.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The landscape or regional scale of analysis poses certain challenges and new possibilities for better understanding of space and time-related processes and changes. These changes can be caused by exogenous processes (e.g. climate change, dynamics on the global market, or technological advances), or may be a result of endogenous regional processes (e.g. dynamics of land use changes). The regional scale is regarded as an area from about a 100 km2 up to 1000 km2. The main problem is that at this scale we can still distinguish the signals from a variety of local processes and cannot ignore them by averaging, while the sheer number of these processes replicated over a large enough territory makes the system extremely complex, structurally diverse, and ecologically heterogeneous. This complexity is further exacerbated by enhanced uncertainty in data that spans time and space. To cope with these problems we suggest an approach that promotes models of intermediate complexity. An important feature of Regional Models of Intermediate Complexity (REMICs) is that they are characterised by a lower degree of detail in the description of process dynamics, but a higher number of interacting components. The implementation of REMICs calls for specific modelling tools that can handle the spatial heterogeneity of GIS and can offer analytical capabilities of both process-based and statistical modelling. One such tool, the Spatial Analysis and Modeling Toolbox (SAMT) is introduced. SAMT is an open source package that can be used to develop decision support systems (DSS) that can help planners and decision makers better understand the complex reactions of the landscape to various forcings. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
The complex and multidisciplinary nature of environmental problems requires that they are dealt with in an integrated manner. This is a challenging task for which modelling and software have become key instruments used to promote sustainability and improve environmental decision processes. This role can especially be one that facilitates systematic integration of various knowledge and data, that fosters learning and helps to make predictions. This book presents the current state of the art in environmental modelling and software and identifies the future challenges in the field. This opening chapter provides an introduction to the topic, the objectives of the book and an outline of its chapters. Modelling can perform a range of valuable roles, from being a process of sharing and structuring knowledge to providing a means of investigating tradeoffs or increasing system understanding. Without full appreciation of their limitations and capabilities, however, there is a risk of models being misused or their outputs misinterpreted. On the other hand, model uncertainty cannot be totally eliminated but it can be understood, communicated and managed. The common problems in modelling that must be understood by modellers and users, and approaches to address them are discussed in the first few chapters. This section of chapters highlights the need for better standards in modelling practice, appropriate handling of uncertainty and improvement of model usability. The next section of the book explores generic and sectoral issues in modelling in the context of the state of the art in modelling tools and approaches, and thereby identifies future research, development and practice needs. Challenges pervasive in various modelling fields include the need for more credible and purposeful models, for better uncertainty management and for more support of an open and collaborative modelling process. Overall a much stronger emphasis on the modelling and software process is warranted. © ...
McIntosh, BS, Giupponi, C, Voinov, AA, Smith, C, Matthews, KB, Monticino, M, Kolkman, MJ, Crossman, N, van Ittersum, M, Haase, D, Haase, A, Mysiak, J, Groot, JCJ, Sieber, S, Verweij, P, Quinn, N, Waeger, P, Gaber, N, Hepting, D, Scholten, H, Sulis, A, van Delden, H, Gaddis, E & Assaf, H 2008, Chapter Three Bridging the Gaps Between Design and Use: Developing Tools to Support Environmental Management and Policy.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Integrated assessment models, decision support systems (DSS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are examples of a growing number of computer-based tools designed to provide decision and information support to people engaged in formulating and implementing environmental policy and management. It is recognised that environmental policy and management users are often not as receptive to using such tools as desired but that little research has been done to uncover and understand the reasons. There is a diverse range of environmental decision and information support tools (DISTs) with uses including organisational and participatory decision support, and scientific research. The different uses and users of DISTs each present particular needs and challenges to the tool developers. The lack of appreciation of the needs of end-users by developers has contributed to the lack of success of many DISTs. Therefore it is important to engage users and other stakeholders in the tool development process to help bridge the gap between design and use. Good practice recommendations for developers to involve users include being clear about the purpose of the tool, working collaboratively with other developers and stakeholders, and building social and scientific credibility. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Voinov, A, Çöltekin, A, Chen, M & Beydoun, G 2018, 'Virtual geographic environments in socio-environmental modeling: a fancy distraction or a key to communication?', International Journal of Digital Earth, vol. 11, no. 4, pp. 408-419.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group. Modeling and simulation are recognized as effective tools for management and decision support across various disciplines; however, poor communication of results to the end users is a major obstacle for properly using and understanding model output. Visualizations can play an essential role in making modeling results accessible for management and decision-making. Virtual reality (VR) and virtual geographic environments (VGEs) are popular and potentially very rewarding ways to visualize socio-environmental models. However, there is a fundamental conflict between abstraction and realism: models are goal-driven, and created to simplify reality and to focus on certain crucial aspects of the system; VR, in the meanwhile, by definition, attempts to replicate reality as closely as possible. This elevated realism may add to the complexity curse in modeling, and the message might be diluted by too many (background) details. This is also connected to information overload and cognitive load. Moreover, modeling is always associated with the treatment of uncertainty–something difficult to present in VR. In this paper, we examine the use of VR and, specific ally, VGEs in socio-environmental modeling, and discuss how VGEs and simulation modeling can be married in a mutually beneficial way that makes VGEs more effective for users, while enhancing simulation models.
Gray, S, Voinov, A, Paolisso, M, Jordan, R, BenDor, T, Bommel, P, Glynn, P, Hedelin, B, Hubacek, K, Introne, J, Kolagani, N, Laursen, B, Prell, C, Schmitt Olabisi, L, Singer, A, Sterling, E & Zellner, M 2018, 'Purpose, processes, partnerships, and products: four Ps to advance participatory socio-environmental modeling.', Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America, vol. 28, no. 1, pp. 46-61.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Including stakeholders in environmental model building and analysis is an increasingly popular approach to understanding ecological change. This is because stakeholders often hold valuable knowledge about socio-environmental dynamics and collaborative forms of modeling produce important boundary objects used to collectively reason about environmental problems. Although the number of participatory modeling (PM) case studies and the number of researchers adopting these approaches has grown in recent years, the lack of standardized reporting and limited reproducibility have prevented PM's establishment and advancement as a cohesive field of study. We suggest a four-dimensional framework (4P) that includes reporting on dimensions of (1) the Purpose for selecting a PM approach (the why); (2) the Process by which the public was involved in model building or evaluation (the how); (3) the Partnerships formed (the who); and (4) the Products that resulted from these efforts (the what). We highlight four case studies that use common PM software-based approaches (fuzzy cognitive mapping, agent-based modeling, system dynamics, and participatory geospatial modeling) to understand human-environment interactions and the consequences of ecological changes, including bushmeat hunting in Tanzania and Cameroon, agricultural production and deforestation in Zambia, and groundwater management in India. We demonstrate how standardizing communication about PM case studies can lead to innovation and new insights about model-based reasoning in support of ecological policy development. We suggest that our 4P framework and reporting approach provides a way for new hypotheses to be identified and tested in the growing field of PM.
Zhao, F, Wu, Y, Qiu, L, Sivakumar, B, Zhang, F, Sun, Y, Sun, L, Li, Q & Voinov, A 2018, 'Spatiotemporal features of the hydro-biogeochemical cycles in a typical loess gully watershed', ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, vol. 91, pp. 542-554.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Glynn, PD, Voinov, AA, Shapiro, CD & White, PA 2018, 'Response to Comment by Walker et al. on "From Data to Decisions: Processing Information, Biases, and Beliefs for Improved Management of Natural Resources and Environments"', EARTHS FUTURE, vol. 6, no. 5, pp. 762-769.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Wei, F, Costanza, R, Dai, Q, Stoeckl, N, Gu, X, Farber, S, Nie, Y, Kubiszewski, I, Hu, Y, Swaisgood, R, Yang, X, Bruford, M, Chen, Y, Voinov, A, Qi, D, Owen, M, Yan, L, Kenny, DC, Zhang, Z, Hou, R, Jiang, S, Liu, H, Zhan, X, Zhang, L, Yang, B, Zhao, L, Zheng, X, Zhou, W, Wen, Y, Gao, H & Zhang, W 2018, 'The Value of Ecosystem Services from Giant Panda Reserves.', Current biology : CB, vol. 28, no. 13, pp. 2174-2180.e7.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Ecosystem services (the benefits to humans from ecosystems) are estimated globally at $125 trillion/year [1, 2]. Similar assessments at national and regional scales show how these services support our lives . All valuations recognize the role of biodiversity, which continues to decrease around the world in maintaining these services [4, 5]. The giant panda epitomizes the flagship species . Its unrivalled public appeal translates into support for conservation funding and policy, including a tax on foreign visitors to support its conservation . The Chinese government has established a panda reserve system, which today numbers 67 reserves [8, 9]. The biodiversity of these reserves is among the highest in the temperate world , covering many of China's endemic species . The panda is thus also an umbrella species -protecting panda habitat also protects other species. Despite the benefits derived from pandas, some journalists have suggested that it would be best to let the panda go extinct. With the recent downlisting of the panda from Endangered to Vulnerable, it is clear that society's investment has started to pay off in terms of panda population recovery [13, 14]. Here, we estimate the value of ecosystem services of the panda and its reserves at between US$2.6 and US$6.9 billion/year in 2010. Protecting the panda as an umbrella species and the habitat that supports it yields roughly 10-27 times the cost of maintaining the current reserves, potentially further motivating expansion of the reserves and other investments in natural capital in China.
Voinov, A, Jenni, K, Gray, S, Kolagani, N, Glynn, PD, Bommel, P, Prell, C, Zellner, M, Paolisso, M, Jordan, R, Sterling, E, Schmitt Olabisi, L, Giabbanelli, PJ, Sun, Z, Le Page, C, Elsawah, S, BenDor, TK, Hubacek, K, Laursen, BK, Jetter, A, Basco-Carrera, L, Singer, A, Young, L, Brunacini, J & Smajgl, A 2018, 'Tools and methods in participatory modeling: Selecting the right tool for the job', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 109, pp. 232-255.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 Elsevier Ltd Various tools and methods are used in participatory modelling, at different stages of the process and for different purposes. The diversity of tools and methods can create challenges for stakeholders and modelers when selecting the ones most appropriate for their projects. We offer a systematic overview, assessment, and categorization of methods to assist modelers and stakeholders with their choices and decisions. Most available literature provides little justification or information on the reasons for the use of particular methods or tools in a given study. In most of the cases, it seems that the prior experience and skills of the modelers had a dominant effect on the selection of the methods used. While we have not found any real evidence of this approach being wrong, we do think that putting more thought into the method selection process and choosing the most appropriate method for the project can produce better results. Based on expert opinion and a survey of modelers engaged in participatory processes, we offer practical guidelines to improve decisions about method selection at different stages of the participatory modeling process.
Jordan, R, Gray, S, Zellner, M, Glynn, PD, Voinov, A, Hedelin, B, Sterling, EJ, Leong, K, Olabisi, LS, Hubacek, K, Bommel, P, BenDor, TK, Jetter, AJ, Laursen, B, Singer, A, Giabbanelli, PJ, Kolagani, N, Carrera, LB, Jenni, K & Prell, C 2018, 'Twelve Questions for the Participatory Modeling Community', Earth's Future, vol. 6, no. 8, pp. 1046-1057.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
©2018. The Authors. Participatory modeling engages the implicit and explicit knowledge of stakeholders to create formalized and shared representations of reality and has evolved into a field of study as well as a practice. Participatory modeling researchers and practitioners who focus specifically on environmental resources met at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (SESYNC) in Annapolis, Maryland, over the course of 2 years to discuss the state of the field and future directions for participatory modeling. What follows is a description of 12 overarching groups of questions that could guide future inquiry.
Niamir, L, Filatova, T, Voinov, A & Bressers, H 2018, 'Transition to low-carbon economy: Assessing cumulative impacts of individual behavioral changes', Energy Policy, vol. 118, pp. 325-345.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2018 The Authors Changing residential energy demand can play an essential role in transitioning to a green economy. Environmental psychology suggests that behavioral changes regarding energy use are affected by knowledge, awareness, motivation and social learning. Data on various behavioral drivers of change can explain energy use at the individual level, but it provides little information about implications for macro energy demand on regional or national levels. We address this challenge by presenting a theoretically-based and empirically-driven agent-based model to track aggregated impacts of behavioral changes among heterogeneous households. We focus on the representation of the multi-step changes in individual energy use behavior and on a quantitative assessment of their aggregated impacts on the regional level. We understand the behavioral complexity of household energy use as a dynamic process unfolding in stages, and explore the barriers for utilizing the full potential of a region for emissions reduction. We suggest a policy mix that facilitates mutual learning among consumers.
Arodudu, OT, Helming, K, Voinov, A & Wiggering, H 2017, 'Integrating agronomic factors into energy efficiency assessment of agro-bioenergy production – A case study of ethanol and biogas production from maize feedstock', Applied Energy, vol. 198, pp. 426-439.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Ltd Previous life cycle assessments for agro-bioenergy production rarely considered some agronomic factors with local and regional impacts. While many studies have found the environmental and socio-economic impacts of producing bioenergy on arable land not good enough to be considered sustainable, others consider it still as one of the most effective direct emission reduction and fossil fuel replacement measures. This study improved LCA methods in order to examine the individual and combined effects of often overlooked agronomic factors (e.g. alternative farm power, seed sowing, fertilizer, tillage and irrigation options) on life-cycle energy indicators (net energy gain-NEG, energy return on energy invested-EROEI), across the three major agro-climatic zones namely tropic, sub-tropic and the temperate landscapes. From this study, we found that individual as well as combined effects of agronomic factors may improve the energy productivity of arable bioenergy sources considerably in terms of the NEG (from between 6.8 and 32.9 GJ/ha to between 99.5 and 246.7 GJ/ha for maize ethanol; from between 39.0 and 118.4 GJ/ha to between 127.9 and 257.9 GJ/ha for maize biogas) and EROEI (from between 1.2 and 1.8 to between 2.1 and 3.0 for maize ethanol, from between 4.3 and 12.1 to between 15.0 and 33.9 for maize biogas). The agronomic factors considered by this study accounted for an extra 7.5–14.6 times more of NEG from maize ethanol, an extra 2.2–3.3 times more of NEG from maize biogas, an extra 1.7 to 1.8 times more of EROEI from maize ethanol, and an extra 2.8–3.5 times more of EROEI from maize biogas respectively. This therefore underscores the need to factor in local and regional agronomic factors into energy efficiency and sustainability assessments, as well as decision making processes regarding the application of energy from products of agro-bioenergy production.
Arodudu, O, Helming, K, Wiggering, H & Voinov, A 2017, 'Bioenergy from low-intensity agricultural systems: An energy efficiency analysis', Energies, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 1-18.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In light of possible future restrictions on the use of fossil fuel, due to climate change obligations and continuous depletion of global fossil fuel reserves, the search for alternative renewable energy sources is expected to be an issue of great concern for policy stakeholders. This study assessed the feasibility of bioenergy production under relatively low-intensity conservative, eco-agricultural settings (as opposed to those produced under high-intensity, fossil fuel based industrialized agriculture). Estimates of the net e nergy gain (NEG) and the energy return on energy invested (EROEI) obtained from a life cycle inventory of the energy inputs and outputs involved reveal that the energy efficiency of bioenergy produced in low-intensity eco-agricultural systems could be as much as much as 448.5-488.3 GJ·ha -1 of NEG and an EROEI of 5.4-5.9 for maize ethanol production systems, and as much as 155.0-283.9 GJ·ha -1 of NEG and an EROEI of 14.7-22.4 for maize biogas production systems. This is substantially higher than for industrialized agriculture with a NEG of 2.8-52.5 GJ·ha -1 and an EROEI of 1.2-1.7 for maize ethanol production systems, as well as a NEG of 59.3-188.7 GJ·ha -1 and an EROEI of 2.2-10.2 for maize biogas production systems. Bioenergy produced in low-intensity eco-agricultural systems could therefore be an important source of energy with immense net benefits for local and regional end-users, provided a more efficient use of the co-products is ensured.
Belete, GF, Voinov, A & Laniak, GF 2017, 'An overview of the model integration process: From pre-integration assessment to testing', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 87, pp. 49-63.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2016 Elsevier Ltd Integration of models requires linking models which can be developed using different tools, methodologies, and assumptions. We performed a literature review with the aim of improving our understanding of model integration process, and also presenting better strategies for building integrated modeling systems. We identified five different phases to characterize integration process: pre-integration assessment, preparation of models for integration, orchestration of models during simulation, data interoperability, and testing. Commonly, there is little reuse of existing frameworks beyond the development teams and not much sharing of science components across frameworks. We believe this must change to enable researchers and assessors to form complex workflows that leverage the current environmental science available. In this paper, we characterize the model integration process and compare integration practices of different groups. We highlight key strategies, features, standards, and practices that can be employed by developers to increase reuse and interoperability of science software components and systems.
Arodudu, O, Helming, K, Wiggering, H & Voinov, A 2017, 'Towards a more holistic sustainability assessment framework for agro-bioenergy systems - A review', ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT ASSESSMENT REVIEW, vol. 62, pp. 61-75.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Belete, GF, Voinov, A & Morales, J 2017, 'Designing the Distributed Model Integration Framework – DMIF', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 94, pp. 112-126.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
ï¿½ 2017 Elsevier Ltd We describe and discuss the design and prototype of the Distributed Model Integration Framework (DMIF) that links models deployed on different hardware and software platforms. We used distributed computing and service-oriented development approaches to address the different aspects of interoperability. Reusable web service wrappers were developed for technical interoperability models created in NetLogo and GAMS modeling languages. We investigated automated semantic mapping of text-based input-output data and attribute names of components using word overlap semantic matching algorithms and using an openly available lexical database. We also incorporated automated unit conversion in semantic mediation by using openly available ontologies. DMIF helps to avoid significant amount of reinvention by framework developers, and opens up the modeling process for many stakeholders who are not prepared to deal with the technical difficulties associated with installing, configuring, and running various models. As a proof of concept, we implemented our design to integrate several climate-energy-economy models.
Glynn, PD, Voinov, AA, Shapiro, CD & White, PA 2017, 'From data to decisions: Processing information, biases, and beliefs for improved management of natural resources and environments', EARTHS FUTURE, vol. 5, no. 4, pp. 356-378.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Qi, M, Sun, T, Zhang, H, Zhu, M, Yang, W, Shao, D & Voinov, A 2017, 'Maintenance of salt barrens inhibited landward invasion of Spartina species in salt marshes', Ecosphere, vol. 8, no. 10.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Qi et al. Spartina spp. (cordgrasses) often dominates intertidal mudflats and/or low marshes. The landward invasion of these species was typically thought to be restrained by low tidal inundation frequencies and interspecific competition. We noticed that the reported soil salinity levels in some salt marshes were much higher than those at the mean higher high water level, which might inhibit the landward invasion of cordgrass. To test this possibility, we transplanted Spartina alterniflora across an elevational gradient in an invaded salt marsh in the Yellow River Delta National Nature Reserve, where a salt accumulation zone (i.e., salt barren) was previously observed. We found that S. alterniflora was significantly inhibited by the salt barren in high marsh regions, although it performed better at upland and low marsh regions. A common garden experiment further elucidated that S. alterniflora performed best at low salinity levels and that this species is less sensitive to inundation frequency. Our results indicated that the salt barren inhibited the landward invasion of S. alterniflora in salt marshes and provided a natural barrier to protect the upland from invasion. Though field observations suggest that S. alterniflora could propagate along tidal channels, which provide low-salinity corridors for the dispersal of propagules, natural salt barrens can inhibit the landward invasion of Spartina in salt marshes. However, artificial disturbances that break the salt barren band in salt marshes (e.g., artificial ditches) might accelerate the invasion of Spartina spp. This new finding should alert salt marsh managers to pay attention to artificial ditches and/or other human activities when attempting to control Spartina invasion.
Zhang, L, Yang, Z, Voinov, A & Gao, S 2016, 'Nature-inspired stormwater management practice: The ecological wisdom underlying the Tuanchen drainage system in Beijing, China and its contemporary relevance', LANDSCAPE AND URBAN PLANNING, vol. 155, pp. 11-20.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Argent, RM, Sojda, RS, Guipponi, C, McIntosh, B, Voinov, AA & Maier, HR 2016, 'Best practices for conceptual modelling in environmental planning and management', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 80, pp. 113-121.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Kolagani, N & McCall, MK 2016, 'Preface to this Virtual Thematic Issue: Modelling with Stakeholders II', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 79, pp. 153-155.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Kolagani, N, McCall, MK, Glynn, PD, Kragt, ME, Ostermann, FO, Pierce, SA & Ramu, P 2016, 'Modelling with stakeholders - Next generation', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 77, pp. 196-220.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Belete, GF & Voinov, A 2016, 'Exploring temporal and functional synchronization in integrating models: A sensitivity analysis', Computers and Geosciences, vol. 90, pp. 162-171.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. When integrating independently built models, we may encounter components that describe the same processes or groups of processes using different assumptions and formalizations. The time stepping in component models can also be very different depending upon the temporal resolution chosen. Even if this time stepping is handled outside of the components (as assumed by good practice of component building) the use of inappropriate temporal synchronization can produce either major run-time redundancy or loss of model accuracy. While components may need to be run asynchronously, finding the right times for them to communicate and exchange information becomes a challenge. We are illustrating this by experimenting with a couple of simple component models connected by means of Web services to explore how the timing of their input-output data exchange affects the performance of the overall integrated model. We have also considered how to best communicate information between components that use a different formalism for the same processes. Currently there are no generic recommendations for component synchronization but including sensitivity analysis for temporal and functional synchronization should be recommended as an essential part of integrated modeling.
Turner, KG, Anderson, S, Gonzales-Chang, M, Costanza, R, Courville, S, Dalgaard, T, Dominati, E, Kubiszewski, I, Ogilvy, S, Porfirio, L, Ratna, N, Sandhu, H, Sutton, PC, Svenning, J-C, Turner, GM, Varennes, Y-D, Voinov, A & Wratten, S 2016, 'A review of methods, data, and models to assess changes in the value of ecosystem services from land degradation and restoration', ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, vol. 319, pp. 190-207.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Polhill, JG, Filatova, T, Schluter, M & Voinov, A 2016, 'Preface to the thematic issue on modelling systemic change in coupled socio-environmental systems', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 75, pp. 317-317.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Polhill, JG, Filatova, T, Schluter, M & Voinov, A 2016, 'Modelling systemic change in coupled socio-environmental systems', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 75, pp. 318-332.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lin, H, Batty, M, Jorgensen, SE, Fu, B, Konecny, M, Voinov, A, Torrens, P, Lu, G, Zhu, A-X, Wilson, JP, Gong, J, Kolditz, O, Bandrova, T & Chen, M 2015, 'Virtual Environments Begin to Embrace Process-based Geographic Analysis', TRANSACTIONS IN GIS, vol. 19, no. 4, pp. 493-498.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Arodudu, O, van Duren, I, Morales, J & Qin, L 2015, 'Estimating the potential of roadside vegetation for bioenergy production', JOURNAL OF CLEANER PRODUCTION, vol. 102, pp. 213-225.View/Download from: Publisher's site
van Duren, I, Voinov, A, Arodudu, O & Firrisa, MT 2015, 'Where to produce rapeseed biodiesel and why? Mapping European rapeseed energy efficiency', RENEWABLE ENERGY, vol. 74, pp. 49-59.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Hasselmann, K, Cremades, R, Filatova, T, Hewitt, R, Jaeger, C, Kovalevsky, D, Voinov, A & Winder, N 2015, 'Free-riders to forerunners', Nature Geoscience, vol. 8, no. 12, pp. 895-898.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Lee, J-S, Filatova, T, Ligmann-Zielinska, A, Hassani-Mahmooei, B, Stonedahl, F, Lorscheid, I, Voinov, A, Polhill, G, Sun, Z & Parker, DC 2015, 'The Complexities of Agent-Based Modeling Output Analysis', JASSS-THE JOURNAL OF ARTIFICIAL SOCIETIES AND SOCIAL SIMULATION, vol. 18, no. 4.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Arodudu, O, Ibrahim, E, Voinov, A & van Duren, I 2014, 'Exploring bioenergy potentials of built-up areas based on NEG-EROEI indicators', ECOLOGICAL INDICATORS, vol. 47, pp. 67-79.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gaddis, EJB, Voinov, A, Seppelt, R & Rizzo, DM 2014, 'Spatial Optimization of Best Management Practices to Attain Water Quality Targets', WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 1485-1499.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Firrisa, MT, van Duren, I & Voinov, A 2014, 'Energy efficiency for rapeseed biodiesel production in different farming systems', ENERGY EFFICIENCY, vol. 7, no. 1, pp. 79-95.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Seppelt, R, Reis, S, Nabel, JEMS & Shokravi, S 2014, 'Values in socio-environmental modelling: Persuasion for action or excuse for inaction', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 53, pp. 207-212.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A & Filatova, T 2014, 'Pricing strategies in inelastic energy markets: Can we use less if inelastic energy markets: Can we use less if we can't extract more?', Frontiers of Earth Science, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 3-17.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Limited supply of nonrenewable energy resources under growing energy demand creates a situation when a marginal change in the quantity supplied or demanded causes non-marginal swings in price levels. The situation is worsened by the fact that we are currently running out of cheap energy resources at the global scale while adaptation to climate change requires extra energy costs. It is often argued that technology and alternative energy will be a solution. However, alternative energy infrastructure also requires additional energy investments, which can further increase the gap between energy demand and supply. This paper presents an explorative model that demonstrates that a smooth transition from an oil-based economy to alternative energy sources is possible only if it is started well in advance while fossil resources are still abundant. Later the transition looks much more dramatic and it becomes risky to rely entirely on technological solutions. It becomes increasingly likely that in addition to technological solutions that can increase supply we will need to find ways to decrease demand and consumption. We further argue that market mechanisms can be just as powerful tools to curb demand as they have traditionally been for stimulating consumption. We observe that individuals who consume more energy resources benefit at the expense of those who consume less, effectively imposing price externalities on the latters. We suggest two transparent and flexible methods of pricing that attempt to eliminate price externalities on energy resources. Such pricing schemes stimulate less consumption and can smooth the transition to renewable energy. © 2013 Higher Education Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.
Kelly (Letcher), RA, Jakeman, AJ, Barreteau, O, Borsuk, ME, ElSawah, S, Hamilton, SH, Henriksen, HJ, Kuikka, S, Maier, HR, Rizzoli, AE, van Delden, H & Voinov, AA 2013, 'Selecting among five common modelling approaches for integrated environmental assessment and management', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 47, pp. 159-181.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Seppelt, R, Bankamp, D, Voinov, AA & Rizzoli, A 2013, '6th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software (iEMSs): " Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Pathways and Visions under Uncertainty" : A congress report', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 43, pp. 160-162.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Boomer, KMB, Weller, DE, Jordan, TE, Linker, L, Liu, Z-J, Reilly, J, Shenk, G & Voinov, AA 2013, 'Using Multiple Watershed Models to Predict Water, Nitrogen, and Phosphorus Discharges to the Patuxent Estuary', JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WATER RESOURCES ASSOCIATION, vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 15-39.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Bennett, ND, Croke, BFW, Guariso, G, Guillaume, JHA, Hamilton, SH, Jakeman, AJ, Marsili-Libelli, S, Newham, LTH, Norton, JP, Perrin, C, Pierce, SA, Robson, B, Seppelt, R, Voinov, AA, Fath, BD & Andreassian, V 2013, 'Characterising performance of environmental models', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 40, pp. 1-20.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Laniak, GF, Rizzoli, AE & Voinov, A 2013, 'Thematic Issue on the Future of Integrated Modeling Science and Technology', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 39, pp. 1-2.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Laniak, GF, Olchin, G, Goodall, J, Voinov, A, Hill, M, Glynn, P, Whelan, G, Geller, G, Quinn, N, Blind, M, Peckham, S, Reaney, S, Gaber, N, Kennedy, R & Hughes, A 2013, 'Integrated environmental modeling: A vision and roadmap for the future', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 39, pp. 3-23.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Krueger, T, Page, T, Smith, L & Voinov, A 2012, 'A guide to expert opinion in environmental modelling and management', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 36, pp. 1-3.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Naimi, B & Voinov, A 2012, 'StellaR: A software to translate Stella models into R open-source environment', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 38, pp. 117-118.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Stella is a popular system dynamics modeling tool, which helps to put together conceptual diagrams and converts them into numeric computer models. Although it can be very useful, especially in participatory modeling, it lacks the power and flexibility of a programming language. This paper presents the StellaR software which translates a Stella model into a model in R, an open source high level programming language. This allows using conceptual modeling tools provided in Stella, together with computational functionality and programming flexibility provided in R. It also opens access to powerful software libraries available in R, which is especially useful for spatial modeling. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.
McIntosh, BS, Ascough, JC, Twery, M, Chew, J, Elmahdi, A, Haase, D, Harou, JJ, Hepting, D, Cuddy, S, Jakeman, AJ, Chen, S, Kassahun, A, Lautenbach, S, Matthews, K, Merritt, W, Quinn, NWT, Rodriguez-Roda, I, Sieber, S, Stavenga, M, Sulis, A, Ticehurst, J, Volk, M, Wrobel, M, van Delden, H, El-Sawah, S, Rizzoli, A & Voinov, A 2011, 'Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) development - Challenges and best practices', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 26, no. 12, pp. 1389-1402.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Filatova, T, Voinov, A & van der Veen, A 2011, 'Land market mechanisms for preservation of space for coastal ecosystems: An agent-based analysis', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 26, no. 2, pp. 179-190.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gaddis, EJB, Falk, HH, Ginger, C & Voinov, A 2010, 'Effectiveness of a participatory modeling effort to identify and advance community water resource goals in St. Albans, Vermont', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 25, no. 11, pp. 1428-1438.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Gaddis, EJB & Voinov, A 2010, 'Spatially explicit modeling of land use specific phosphorus transport pathways to improve TMDL load estimates and implementation planning', Water Resources Management, vol. 24, no. 8, pp. 1621-1644.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Diffuse pollution from urban stormwater and agricultural runoff are among the leading causes of water pollution in the USA. A process-oriented, stakeholder-driven research approach was implemented in the small heterogeneous watershed of St. Albans Bay, Vermont to model the relative load of phosphorus from all sources, including diffuse transport pathways, and compared to goals and assumptions outlined by a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) developed for phosphorus in Lake Champlain. Mass-balance and dynamic landscape simulation models were used to describe the distribution of the average annual phosphorus load to streams (10.57 t/year) in terms of space, time, and transport process. The majority of the phosphorus load comes from two subwatersheds dominated by clay soils, Stevens and Jewett Brooks. Dissolved phosphorus in surface runoff from the agricultural landscape, driven by high soil phosphorus concentrations, accounts for 41% of the total load to watershed streams. Direct discharge from farmsteads and stormwater loads, primarily from road sand wash-off, are also significant sources. Results reported in this study could help target watershed interventions both in terms of the types and locations of recommended best management practices (BMPs). The study offers an approach to attaining TMDL diffuse pollution targets in a cost-effective and participatory manner and could be replicated for other TMDL processes around the country. © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2009.
Voinov, AA, Deluca, C, Hood, RR, Peckham, S, Sherwood, CR & Syvitski, JPM 2010, 'A community approach to earth systems modeling', Eos, vol. 91, no. 13, pp. 117-118.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Jakeman, AJ, Rizzoli, AE & Voinov, AA 2009, 'Outstanding reviewers for environmental modelling and software in 2008', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 24, no. 10, pp. 1137-1138.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Zharova, N, Sfriso, A, Pavoni, B & Voinov, A 2008, 'Analysis of annual fluctuations of C. nodosa in the Venice lagoon: Modeling approach', Ecological Modelling, vol. 216, no. 2, pp. 134-144.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A simple simulation model was developed to describe the growth trends of Cymodocea nodosa (Ucria) Ascherson based on data sets from the Venice lagoon. The model reproduces the seasonal fluctuations in the above and belowground biomass and in shoot density. The modeling results are in good agreement with data on net production, growth rates and chemical-physical parameters of water. It was assumed that light and temperature are the most important factors controlling C. nodosa development, and that the growth was not limited by nutrient availability. The aim was to simulate biomass production as a function of external forcing variables (light, water temperature) and internal control (plant density). A series of simulation experiments were performed with the basic model showing that among the most important phenomena affecting C. nodosa growth are: (1) inhibition of production and recruitment of new shoots by high temperature and (2) light attenuation due to seasonal fluctuation. © 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Jakeman, AJ, Rizzoli, AE & Voinov, AA 2008, 'Outstanding reviewers for environmental modelling and software in 2007', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 23, no. 12, p. 1343.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A 2008, 'Understanding and communicating sustainability: Global versus regional perspectives', Environment, Development and Sustainability, vol. 10, no. 4, pp. 487-501.View/Download from: Publisher's site
While there is no single definition of sustainability, most would agree that it implies that a system is to be maintained at a certain level, held within certain limits. Sustainability denies run-away growth, but it also precludes any substantial set backs or cuts. This sustainability path is hard to reconcile with the renewal cycle that can be observed in most living systems developing according to their natural intrinsic mechanisms. Besides, since different human dominated systems are in significantly different states and stages of development, sustaining those states assumes maintaining social disparities in perpetuity. This creates a challenge in communicating the ideas of sustainability in different regions. Systems are parts of hierarchies where systems of higher levels are made of subsystems from lower levels. Renewal in components is an important factor of adaptation and evolution. But then sustainability of a system borrows from sustainability of a supra-system and rests upon lack of sustainability in subsystems. Therefore by sustaining certain systems beyond their renewal cycle, we decrease the sustainability of larger, higher level systems. The only way to resolve this contradiction is to agree that the biosphere as a whole with humans as one of its components is the only system which sustainability we are to seek. © 2007 Springer Science+Business Media B.V.
Voinov, A & Gaddis, EJB 2008, 'Lessons for successful participatory watershed modeling: A perspective from modeling practitioners', ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, vol. 216, no. 2, pp. 197-207.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Costanza, R, Fitz, C & Maxwell, T 2007, 'Patuxent landscape model: 2. Model development - Nutrients, plants, and detritus', Water Resources, vol. 34, no. 3, pp. 268-276.View/Download from: Publisher's site
We developed a spatially explicit, process-based model of the Patuxent river watershed in Maryland, and its subwatersheds to integrate data and knowledge over several spatial, temporal and complexity scales, and to serve as an aid to regional management. The model was developed using the Library of Hydro-Ecological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM. In this paper we continue the description of the LHEM modules focusing on nutrient cycling, vegetation growth, decomposition, and other processes, both locally and spatially. The modular approach takes advantage of the Spatial Modeling Environment  that allows integration of various Stella models and C++ user code, and embeds local simulation models into a spatial context. Local ecosystem dynamics are replicated across a grid of cells that compose the rasterized landscape. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007.
Huntington, HP, Hamilton, LC, Nicolson, C, Brunner, R, Lynch, A, Ogilvie, AEJ & Voinov, A 2007, 'Toward understanding the human dimensions of the rapidly changing arctic system: insights and approaches from five HARC projects', REGIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE, vol. 7, no. 4, pp. 173-186.View/Download from: Publisher's site
We developed a spatially explicit, process-based model of the 2352 km2 Patuxent river watershed in Maryland, and its subwatersheds to integrate data and knowledge over several spatial, temporal and complexity scales, and to serve as an aid to regional management. The model was developed using the Library of Hydro-Ecological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM), which was designed to create flexible landscape model structures that can be easily modified and extended to suit the requirements of a variety of goals and case studies. The LHEM includes modules that simulate various aspects of ecosystem dynamics. In this paper we consider modules that represent the physical conditions in the environment (climatic factors, geoporphology), and hydrologic processes, both locally and spatially. Where possible the modules are formulated as Stella(R) models, spatial transport processes are presented as C++ code. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007.
Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. The model addresses the effects of both the magnitude and spatial patterns of land use change and agricultural practices on hydrology, plant productivity, and nutrient cycling in the landscape. The spatial resolution for the full Patuxent watershed is 1 km2, while subwatersheds are analyzed at a 200 × 200 m resolution to allow adequate depiction of the pattern of ecosystems and human settlement on the landscape. The temporal resolution is different for various components of the model. We used a modular, multiscale approach to calibrate and test the model. Model results show good agreement with data. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007.
Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. The model addresses the effects of both the magnitude and spatial patterns of land use change and agricultural practices on hydrology, plant productivity, and nutrient cycling in the landscape. © Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2007.
Gaddis, EJB, Vladich, H & Voinov, A 2007, 'Participatory modeling and the dilemma of diffuse nitrogen management in a residential watershed', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 22, no. 5, pp. 619-629.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Argent, RM, Voinov, A, Maxwell, T, Cuddy, SM, Rahman, JM, Seaton, S, Vertessy, RA & Braddock, RD 2006, 'Comparing modelling frameworks - A workshop approach', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, vol. 21, no. 7, pp. 895-910.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Moiseenko, TI, Voinov, AA, Megorsky, VV, Gashkina, NA, Kudriavtseva, LP, Vandish, OI, Sharov, AN, Sharova, Y & Koroleva, IN 2006, 'Ecosystem and human health assessment to define environmental management strategies: The case of long-term human impacts on an Arctic lake', SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT, vol. 369, no. 1-3, pp. 1-20.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Rizzo, DM, Mouser, PJ, Whitney, DH, Mark, CD, Magarey, RD & Voinov, AA 2006, 'The comparison of four dynamic systems-based software packages: Translation and sensitivity analysis', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 21, no. 10, pp. 1491-1502.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Dynamic model development for describing complex ecological systems continues to grow in popularity. For both academic research and project management, understanding the benefits and limitations of systems-based software could improve the accuracy of results and enlarge the user audience. A Surface Wetness Energy Balance (SWEB) model for canopy surface wetness has been translated into four software packages and their strengths and weaknesses were compared based on 'novice' user interpretations. We found expression-based models such as Simulink and GoldSim with Expressions were able to model the SWEB more accurately; however, stock and flow-based models such as STELLA, Madonna, and GoldSim with Flows provided the user a better conceptual understanding of the ecologic system. Although the original objective of this study was to identify an 'appropriate' software package for predicting canopy surface wetness using SWEB, our outcomes suggest that many factors must be considered by the stakeholders when selecting a model because the modeling software becomes part of the model and of the calibration process. These constraints may include user demographics, budget limitations, built-in sensitivity and optimization tools, and the preference of user friendliness vs. computational power. Furthermore, the multitude of closed proprietary software may present a disservice to the modeling community, creating model artifacts that originate somewhere deep inside the undocumented features of the software, and masking the underlying properties of the model. © 2005 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Kuhnert, M, Voinov, A & Seppelt, R 2005, 'Comparing raster map comparison algorithms for spatial modeling and analysis', Photogrammetric Engineering and Remote Sensing, vol. 71, no. 8, pp. 975-984.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The comparison of spatial patterns is recognized as an important task in landscape ecology especially when spatially explicit simulation modeling or remote sensing is applied. Yet, there is no agreed procedure for doing that, probably because different problems require different algorithms. We explored a variety of existing algorithms and modified some of them to compare grid-based maps with categorical attributes. A new algorithm based on the "expanding window" approach was developed and compared to other known algorithms. The goal was to offer simple and flexible procedures for comparing spatial patterns in grid based maps that do not take into consideration object shapes and sizes of the maps. The difference between maps was characterized by three values: quantity, location, and distance between corresponding categories in the maps. Combinations of these indices work as good criteria to quantify differences between maps. A web-based survey was set up, in which participants were asked to grade the similarity of ten pairs of maps. These results were then used to compare how well the various algorithms can perform relative to the visual comparisons obtained; they were also used to calibrate existing algorithms. © 2005 American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing.
Voinov, A, Bromley, L, Kirk, E, Korchak, A, Farley, J, Moiseenko, T, Krasovskaya, T, Makarova, Z, Megorski, V, Selin, V, Kharitonova, G & Edson, R 2004, 'Understanding human and ecosystem dynamics in the Kola Arctic: A participatory integrated study', ARCTIC, vol. 57, no. 4, pp. 375-388.
Rizzoli, A, Voinov, A & Jakeman, A 2003, 'Introducing EMS shortcoms - Presenting results, making a difference: Is there a better way to publish in the 21st century?', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 18, no. 7, pp. 595-596.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Costanza, R, Voinov, A, Boumans, R, Maxwell, T, Villa, F, Wainger, L & Voinov, H 2002, 'Integrated ecological economic modeling of the Patuxent River watershed, Maryland', ECOLOGICAL MONOGRAPHS, vol. 72, no. 2, pp. 203-231.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Seppelt, R & Voinov, A 2002, 'Optimization methodology for land use patterns using spatially explicit landscape models', ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, vol. 151, no. 2-3, pp. 125-142.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A 2002, 'Teaching and learning ecological modeling over the web: A collaborative approach', Ecology and Society, vol. 6, no. 1.
A framework for web-based collaborative teaching has been created. This framework is implemented as an ecological modeling course (http://iee.umces.edu/ AV/Simmod.html), but should be flexible enough to apply to other disciplines. I have developed a series of tools to facilitate interactive communication between students and instructors, and among students taking the course. The course content consists of reading materials that describe the theory of systems analysis and modeling, guidelines on how models can be built, and numerous examples and illustrations. The interactive part includes exercises that can be discussed with and evaluated by the instructor, and provides a means to mimic class discussions. To what extent this approach can replace conventional in-class tutoring has yet to be tested, but the preliminary applications show great promise. I offer this course format as a framework and a prototype for collaborative "open-source" approaches to education, in which the web provides the means to communicate knowledge and skills asynchronously between geographically dispersed educators and students. Copyright © 2002 by the author(s). Published here under licence by The Resilience Alliance.
Boumans, RM, Villa, F, Costanza, R, Voinov, A, Voinov, H & Maxwell, T 2001, 'Non-spatial calibrations of a general unit model for ecosystem simulations', Ecological Modelling, vol. 146, no. 1-3, pp. 17-32.View/Download from: Publisher's site
General Unit Models simulate system interactions aggregated within one spatial unit of resolution. For unit models to be applicable to spatial computer simulations, they must be formulated generally enough to simulate all habitat elements within the landscape. We present the development and testing of a unit model for the Patuxent River landscape in the state of Maryland, USA. The Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) is designed to simulate the interactions among physical and biological dynamics in the context of regional socioeconomic behavior. The PLM is a tool for evaluating landscape change within the Patuxent watershed through simulation of ecological systems. A companion economic model estimates land development patterns and effects on human decisions from site characteristics, ecosystem properties, and regulatory paradigms. Landscape elements that are linked within the PLM are forest, agriculture and open water systems, and three levels of urban development. Urban developments are low and medium density residential areas (14.07% of the total watershed), and commercial, industrial and institutional area (5.7%). Forests are mixed populations of deciduous and evergreen species (45.11%). Agricultural areas (28.02%) are simulated through rotating crops of corn, winter wheat and soybeans within a cycle of two years. Open water (6.84%) represents the ecosystems within the rivers and streams where phytoplankton are the primary producers. In this paper we illustrate, how we gathered and formalized working models used within the Patuxent watershed for forests, agriculture urban settings and wetlands. Further, we show how we tested and merged the variety of models employed by scientific disciplines and created a general unit model to be used in the Patuxent Landscape Model (Pat_GEM). The Patuxent Landscape Model is built under the Spatial Modeling Environment. © 2001 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
Zharova, N, Sfriso, A, Voinov, A & Pavoni, B 2001, 'A simulation model for the annual fluctuation of Zostera marina biomass in the Venice lagoon', Aquatic Botany, vol. 70, no. 2, pp. 135-150.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A simulation model was built to describe the growth patterns of Zostera marina in an area in the Venice lagoon. The model tracks changes in the above- and below-ground biomass and shoot density and is based on data for Zostera biomass, net production and growth rates, chemical-physical parameters and nutrient concentrations in water, sediment and particulate matter. It was assumed that the most important factors controlling Zostera growth and distribution are light and temperature, and that Zostera growth was not limited by nutrient availability. The goal was to simulate biomass production and its seasonal changes as a function of external forcing variables (light, water temperature, wind and tide-generated water movements) and internal control (plant density). A series of simulation experiments were performed with the basic model and its modifications showed that among the most important phenomena affecting Zostera growth are: (1) inhibition of production and recruitment of new shoots by high temperature and (2) light attenuation due to seasonal fluctuation and wind- and tide-induced suspension of sediments. © 2001 Elsevier Science B. V.
Voinov, AA, Voinov, H & Costanza, R 1999, 'Surface water flow in landscape models: 2. Patuxent watershed case study', ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, vol. 119, no. 2-3, pp. 211-230.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Watershed analysis and watershed management are developing as tools of integrated ecological and economic study. They also assist decision-making at the regional scale. The new technology and thinking offered by the advent of the Internet and the World Wide Web is highly complementary to some of the goals of watershed analysis. Services delivered by the Web are open, interactive, fast, spatially distributed, hierarchical and flexible. The Web offers the ability to display information creatively, to interact with that information and to change and modify it remotely. In this way the Internet provides a much-needed opportunity to deliver scientific findings and information to stakeholders and to link stakeholders together providing for collective decision-making. The benefits fall into two major categories: methodological and educational. Methodologically the approach furthers the watershed management concept, offering an avenue for practical implementation of watershed management principles. For educational purposes the Web is a source of data and insight serving a variety of needs at all levels. We use the Patuxent River case study to illustrate the web-based approach to watershed management. A watershed scale simulation model is built for the Patuxent area and it serves as a core for watershed management design based on web applications. It integrates the knowledge available for the Patuxent area in a comprehensive and systematic format, and provides a conceptual basis for understanding the performance of the watershed as a system. Moreover, the extensive data collection and conceptualisation required within the framework of the modeling effort stimulates close contact with the environmental management community. This is further enhanced by offering access to the modeling results and the data sets over the Web. Additional web applications and links are provided to increase awareness and involvement of stakeholders in the watershed management process. We argue th...
Voinov, A, Costanza, R, Wainger, L, Boumans, R, Villa, F, Maxwell, T & Voinov, H 1999, 'Patuxent landscape model: Integrated ecological economic modeling of a watershed', Environmental Modelling and Software, vol. 14, no. 5, pp. 473-491.View/Download from: Publisher's site
The Patuxent Landscape Model (PLM) is designed to simulate fundamental ecological processes on the watershed scale, in interaction with an economic component that predicts the land use patterns. The paper focuses on the ecological component of the PLM and describes how the spatial and structural rescaling can be instrumental for calibration of complex spatially distributed models. The PLM is based on a modified General Ecosystem Model (GEM) that is replicated across a grid of cells that compose the rasterized landscape. Different habitats and land use types translate into different parameter sets to be fed into GEM. Cells are linked by horizontal fluxes of material and information, driven mostly by the hydrologic flows. This approach provides additional flexibility in scaling up and down over a range of spatial resolutions and is essential to track the land use change patterns generated by the economic component. Structural modularity is another important feature that is implemented in the general purpose software packages (Spatial Modeling Environment and Collaborative Modeling Environment), that the PLM employs.
Voinov, AA 1998, 'Paradoxes of sustainability', ZHURNAL OBSHCHEI BIOLOGII, vol. 59, no. 2, pp. 209-218.
Many landscape models require extensive computational effort using a large array of grid cells that represent the landscape. The number of spatial cells may be in the thousands and millions, while the ecological component run in each of the cells to account for landscape dynamics is often process based and fairly complex. To compensate for the increased computational complexity of the model there is a tendency to simplify the hydrologic component that fluxes material horizontally across the landscape. Instead of full scale hydrologic models based on stable implicit schemes, computationally simpler explicit algorithms are incorporated and run with quite large time steps. As a result some fairly inadequate behavior may be observed, especially when the temporal and spatial steps are modified without due care. We illustrate these problems with a series of runs performed using the Everglades Landscape Model (Southern Florida, USA), that covers an area of more than 10000 km2. Several algorithms for hydrologic fluxing are compared in terms of their computational complexity and stability. We argue that a compromise can be drawn by supplementing the explicit modeling scheme with a series of additional checks and conditions that provide for model stability, and with some empirical assumptions that allow the model to operate over a sufficiently large range of temporal and spatial scales.
Voinov, A, Fitz, C & Costanza, R 1997, 'Landscape model provides management tool', GIS World, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 48-50.
Smith, CL & Voinov, A 1996, 'Resource management: Can it sustain pacific northwest fishery and forest systems?', Ecosystem Health, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 156-158.
The relative effectiveness of resource management regimes is widely discussed. Sustainability and ecosystem health are two dimensions upon which the effect of management is judged. Evaluating resource management requires long time spans. We look at the impact of management on fish and forest resources by taking a life cycle approach to the exploitation of natural capital. Russian ethnographer Gumilev (1990) describes the process of how human systems go through a set of phases that parallel the birth, growth, maturity, and death stages of the life cycle. The process of adaptive renewal proposed by Holling (1992), too, has life cycle characteristics. The primary variables used to represent the phases of the renewal cycle are the amount of capital that is accumulated and the connectedness in the system. We apply the renewal cycle to a fishery and forestry example in the U.S. Pacific Northwest to see how management regimes alter the capital stock of these systems. In these two examples, 90% of the natural capital is lost or projected to be lost over a century and a half of exploitation. The management regime in both cases evolves toward greater inflexibility. Based on these two examples, resource management does not seem to lead to sustainability or ecosystem health. © 1996 Blackwell Science, Inc.
Voinov, A, Cibuzar, A & Nawrocki, T 1994, 'Sustainable development on a watershed scale russian case study—pronya river', Lake and Reservoir Management, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 46-50.View/Download from: Publisher's site
A user-friendly package for simulations of wind-induced currents and dispersion of non-conservative pollutants in aquatic media is discussed. The hydrodynamics are modelled by a stationary shallow-water approximation of the Eckman type. The generated patterns of currents are fed into the 2-D advection-diffusion model to calculate the concentration fields of a pollutant coming with inflows or injected directly into the water body. The package runs on IBM compatible PCs with a mathcoprocessor being very desirable. The package is simple to learn. It may be useful for preliminary qualitative analysis of water pollution, as well as for education and demonstration purposes. © 1993 Elsevier Science Publishers Ltd.
VOINOV, AA & ZHAROVA, NA 1991, 'AUTOMATIZATION SYSTEM FOR SIMULATION OF AQUATIC BODIES - SPATIALLY HETEROGENEOUS ECOSYSTEMS', ZHURNAL OBSHCHEI BIOLOGII, vol. 52, no. 6, pp. 868-884.
Basic principles and advantages of a user-friendly interactive modeling system (SIMSAB) are discussed. The system is designed as a personal-computer interface. The model is formulated in terms of a special flow-language, which is then automatically translated to produce portable Fortran programs that can be run on any computer. Additional blocks and processes can be put into the system by a user who knows Fortran. The system is intended for construction of compartmental models and includes a special hydrodynamic block to calculate wind-induced currents and to account for the material exchange between compartments. © 1990.
A mathematical model is constructed for a fish breeding pond for carp, silver carp and bighead. The model is a system of ordinary differential equations describing the material transformations in the ecosystem. It allows a choice of optimal regimes of the aeration, feeding and fertilization of a pond for different climatic conditions in order to maximize the yield. © 1984.
A very simple model of eutrophication is presented. It includes several quite aggregated parameters and can be studied by analytical methods. Nevertheless, its dynamic behaviour reflects well real reservoir evolution as observed under the impact of increasing biogenic pollution. Such models, simple in construction but sensitive to the main trends of an ecosystem, are termed 'minimal'. The state variables in the model are the concentrations of: (1) phytoplankton; (2) biogenic elements (nutrients); (3) detritus; and (4) dissolved oxygen. Transformations among the substances are described by a system of four ordinary differential equations. Steady-state dynamics are studied (the so-called quasi-stationary process). The qualitative analysis undertaken shows that the total amount of substances in a reservoir (phytoplankton + detritus + nutrients) is a very important ecosystem control parameter. In fact, it is this parameter that determines the rate and the degree of eutrophication. It also turns out that the relations between some observed characteristics of the ecosystem may define beforehand the future behaviour of the reservoir. © 1984.
VOINOV, AA & SVIREZHEV, YM 1981, 'STABILITY OF A SIMPLE FRESH-WATER ECOSYSTEM MODEL', ZHURNAL OBSHCHEI BIOLOGII, vol. 42, no. 6, pp. 936-940.
Beydoun, G, voinov, A & sugumaran, V 2018, 'Beyond Service-Oriented Architectures' in Sugumaran, V (ed), Developments and Trends in Intelligent Technologies and Smart Systems, IGI Global, USA, pp. 16-25.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. Sustainability is a wicked problem, which is hard to define in a unique way. It cannot be solved and should be treated in a participatory approach involving as many stakeholders in the process as possible. Participatory modeling is an efficient method for dealing with wicked problems. It involves stakeholders in an open-ended process of shared learning and can be essential for developing sustainable technologies. While there may be various levels of participation, the process evolves around a model of the system at stake. The model is built in interaction with the stakeholders; it provides formalism to synchronize stakeholder thinking and knowledge about the system and to move toward consensus about the possible decision making.
Voinov, A & Gaddis, EB 2016, 'Values in participatory modeling: Theory and practice' in Environmental Modeling with Stakeholders: Theory, Methods, and Applications, pp. 47-63.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017. In this chapter, we reflect on some of our experiences as modelers engaged in participatory modeling by outlining some of the lessons we have learned. Specifically, we outline best practices for modelers seeking to engage in the process, identify trade-offs in evaluating model results, and present a call for future research to explicitly incorporate values in the process.
Taghikhah, F, Raffe, WL, Mitri, G, Toit, SD, Voinov, A & Garcia, JA 2019, 'Last Island: Exploring Transitions to Sustainable Futures through Play', ACM International Conference Proceeding Series.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
© 2019 Association for Computing Machinery. A serious game was designed and developed with the goal of exploring potential sustainable futures and the transitions towards them. This computer-assisted board game, Last Island, which incorporates a system dynamics model into a board game's core mechanics, attempts to impart knowledge and understanding on sustainability and how an isolated society may transition to various futures to a non-expert community of players. To this end, this collaborativecompetitive game utilizes the Miniworld model which simulates three variables important for the sustainability of a society: Human population, economic production and the state of the environment. The resulting player interaction offers possibilities to collectively discover and validate potential scenarios for transitioning to a sustainable future, encouraging players to work together to balance the model output while also competing on individual objectives to be the individual winner of the game.
Glynn, P, Shapiro, CD & Voinov, A 2018, 'Records of Engagement and Decision Tracking for Adaptive Management and Policy Development', 2018 IEEE INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ON TECHNOLOGY AND SOCIETY (IEEE ISTAS 2018), 24th Annual IEEE International Symposium on Technology and Society (IEEE ISTAS), IEEE, George Washington Univ, Sch Engn & Appl Sci, Washington, DC, pp. 81-87.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Niamir, L, Ivanova, O, Filatova, T & Voinov, A 2018, 'Tracing Macroeconomic Impacts of Individual Behavioral Changes through Model Integration', IFAC-PapersOnLine, IFAC Workshop on Integrated Assessment Modelling for Environmental System, Brescia, Italy, pp. 96-101.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© 2018 The discourse on climate change stresses the importance of individual behavioral changes and shifts in social norms to assist both climate mitigation efforts worldwide. A design of an effective and efficient climate policy calls for decision support tools that are able to quantify cumulative impacts of individual behaviour and can integrate bottom-up processes into the traditional decision support tools. We propose an integrated system of models that combines strengths of macro and micro approaches to trace the cross-scale feedbacks in socio-economic processes in residential energy markets at provincial and national scales. This paper explores the feasibility of such hybrid models to study dynamic effects of climate change mitigation policy measures targeted at changes in residential energy use practices. We present an example of an agent-based energy model (BENCH) integrated with a EU-EMS computable general equilibrium model. We discusses methodological advancements and open challenges with respect to the integrated system of models.
Argent, RM, Sojda, RS, Guipponi, C, McIntosh, B & Voinov, AA 2014, 'Best practice in conceptual modelling for environmental software development', Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014, pp. 2377-2386.
Conceptual modelling is used in many fields with a varying degree of formality. In environmental applications, conceptual models are used to express relationships, explore and test ideas, check inference and causality, identify knowledge and data gaps, synchronize mental models and build consensus, and to highlight key or dominant processes. Conceptual model representations range from simple box and line interaction diagrams, through interaction representations and causal models, to complicated formal representations of the relationships between actors or entities, or between states and processes. Due to their sometimes apparent simplicity, the development and use of a conceptual model is often an attractive option when tackling an environmental problem where the system is either not well understood, or where the understanding of the system is not shared amongst stakeholders. However, we have experienced many examples where conceptual modelling has failed to live up to the promises of managing complexity and aiding decision making. This paper explores the development and application of conceptual modelling to environmental problems, and identifies a range of best practices for environmental scientists and managers that include considerations of stakeholder participation, model development and representation, integration of different and disparate conceptual models, model maturation, testing, and transition to application within the problem situation.
Betete, GF, Voinov, A & Holst, N 2014, 'An architecture for integration of multidisciplinary models', Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014, pp. 1251-1259.
Integrating multidisciplinary models requires linking models: that may operate at different temporal and spatial scales; developed using different methodologies, tools and techniques; different levels of complexity; calibrated for different ranges of inputs and outputs, etc. On the other hand, integration of models requires us to address technical, semantic, and dataset aspects of interoperability. So we need a genuine techniques that enable us to integrate various domain specific models for interdisciplinary study. In this research work, we investigated best practices of System Integration, Enterprise Application Integration, and Integration Design Patterns. We developed an architecture of a multidisciplinary model integration framework that brings these three aspects of integration together. Service-oriented-based platform independent architecture that enables to establish loosely coupled dependency among various models is presented.
Kolagani, N, Ramu, P, Voinov, AA, Gali, R & Rao, CL 2014, 'Educating stakeholders about the need for water balance using a participatory modeling framework', Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014, pp. 1105-1112.
Groundwater resources in many villages of the developing countries have been undergoing rapid decline over last few decades due to their unsustainable large scale exploitation. One of the main reasons for such overexploitation is the inability of village communities to collectively visualize and understand clearly the long term implications of such overexploitation. There is hence an urgent need to create awareness among stakeholders about the unsustainable nature of such overexploitation and to facilitate sustainable usage. Spatio-temporal participatory modeling of their water management practices can help greatly in promoting such awareness among village communities. These modeling tools can then be used by these stakeholders to analyze various future scenarios and plan their actions in an informed way. In this paper, a participatory modeling framework for carrying out water balance studies at village level is proposed and is demonstrated using case study of a South Indian village. Stakeholders analyzed their past actions and future plans using simulations. Classes needed for simulation and rules for their behaviour, such as what influences the decision of a farmer to sow a crop or to sink a well, were gathered through discussions with knowledgeable stakeholders. An open source Geographical Information System. 'Quantum GIS', extended using Python programming was used as the platform for carrying out and visually presenting these spatio-temporal simulations to the stakeholders.
Belete, GF & Voinov, A 2014, 'Integration of models for low carbon economy', Proceedings - 7th International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Bold Visions for Environmental Modeling, iEMSs 2014, pp. 1897-1904.
Designing the transition to low carbon economy is a very complex task that touches upon a wide variety of climate-energy-economic systems. We need to explore the various possible climate mitigation scenarios at different temporal and spatial scales. However, due to the diversity of the involved disciplines it is difficult to find one complete and unified modeling approach that works equally well in all those different domains. As a result we have to select 'appropriate' models, which represent only specific aspects of the scenarios and assemble them 'coherently'. In this research we have identified some challenges in integrating multidisciplinary models; and have developed a conceptual design for a multidisciplinary model integration framework that can harmonize the technical, semantic, and dataset aspects of interoperability.
Sojda, RS, Chen, SH, El Sawah, S, Guillaume, JHA, Jakeman, AJ, Lautenbach, S, McIntosh, BS, Rizzoli, AE, Seppelt, R, Struss, P, Voinov, AA & Volk, M 2012, 'Identifying the decision to be supported: A review of papers from environmental modelling and software', iEMSs 2012 - Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Proceedings of the 6th Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, pp. 73-80.
Two of the basic tenets of decision support system efforts are to help identify and structure the decisions to be supported, and to then provide analysis in how those decisions might be best made. One example from wetland management would be that wildlife biologists must decide when to draw down water levels to optimise aquatic invertebrates as food for breeding ducks. Once such a decision is identified, a system or tool to help them make that decision in the face of current and projected climate conditions could be developed. We examined a random sample of 100 papers published from 2001-2011 in Environmental Modelling and Software that used the phrase "decision support system" or "decision support tool", and which are characteristic of different sectors. In our review, 41% of the systems and tools related to the water resources sector, 34% were related to agriculture, and 22% to the conservation of fish, wildlife, and protected area management. Only 60% of the papers were deemed to be reporting on DSS. This was based on the papers reviewed not having directly identified a specific decision to be supported. We also report on the techniques that were used to identify the decisions, such as formal survey, focus group, expert opinion, or sole judgment of the author(s). The primary underlying modelling system, e.g., expert system, agent based model, Bayesian belief network, geographical information system (GIS), and the like was categorised next. Finally, since decision support typically should target some aspect of unstructured decisions, we subjectively determined to what degree this was the case. In only 23% of the papers reviewed, did the system appear to tackle unstructured decisions. This knowledge should be useful in helping workers in the field develop more effective systems and tools, especially by being exposed to the approaches in different, but related, disciplines. We propose that a standard blueprint for reporting on DSS be developed for consideration b...
ElSawah, S, Haase, D, Van Delden, H, Pierce, S, ElMahdi, A, Voinov, AA & Jakeman, AJ 2012, 'Using system dynamics for environmental modelling: Lessons learnt from six case studies', iEMSs 2012 - Managing Resources of a Limited Planet: Proceedings of the 6th Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, pp. 1367-1374.
System dynamics modelling includes a set of conceptual and numerical methods that are used to understand the structure and behaviour of complex systems, such as socio-ecological systems. A system dynamics model represents the causal relationships, feedback loops, and delays that are thought to generate the system behaviour. System dynamics is widely used for developing environmental models and decision support systems. However, little attention has been given to reflecting on modelling exercises in terms of the utility of system dynamics, its strengths and limitations, experienced during modelling and implementation challenges. These practical lessons are useful for guiding modellers on deciding when and how to use system dynamics. The purpose of this paper is to shed some light on these issues drawing on experience from six case studies. Case studies demonstrate a wide range of applications (e.g. land use, groundwater management, urban water systems), tools, modelling approaches (e.g. coupled, integrated), and computational software.
Biesecker, M, Erion, R, Hay, CH, Henebry, GM, Johnston, CA, Kjaersgaard, JH, Shmagin, BA, Van Der Sluis, E, Capehart, W, Kirilenko, AE, Krakauer, NY, Sweeney, M & Voinov, AA 2012, 'UNCERTAINTY OF HYDROLOGIC EVENTS UNDER SOUTH DAKOTA'S CHANGING CONDITIONS: A RESEARCH AGENDA', PROCEEDINGS OF THE SOUTH DAKOTA ACADEMY OF SCIENCE, VOL 91, 97th Annual Meeting of the South-Dakota-Academy-of-Science, SOUTH DAKOTA ACAD SCIENCE, Univ S Dakota, Muenster Univ Ctr, Vermillion, SD, pp. 257-259.
Gaddis, E, Adams, C & Voinov, A 2010, 'Effective engagement of stakeholders in Total Maximum Daily Load development and implementation', Modelling for Environment's Sake: Proceedings of the 5th Biennial Conference of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, iEMSs 2010, pp. 530-538.
Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) identify the maximum amount of pollution that a water body can receive and still support its designated uses and allocates the maximum load to specific sources in the watershed. In the United States, The Clean Water Act requires public participation in the process of TMDL development. This requirement has been met through simple presentation of results at public meetings, strategic partnerships with key stakeholders, and/or to advisory committees in which stakeholders participate in critical decisions about TMDL definition and implementation. These decisions include model selection and assumptions, selection of water quality endpoints, load allocations, TMDL review, and implementation planning. In this article, we discuss the benefits and challenges of early and targeted engagement of stakeholders in TMDL development through a participatory modelling process based on our experience in Utah and Vermont.
Voinov, A 2010, ''Integronsters' and the special role of data', Modelling for Environment's Sake: Proceedings of the 5th Biennial Conference of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society, iEMSs 2010, pp. 1139-1149.
In many cases model integration treats models as software components only, ignoring the fluid relationship between models and reality, the evolving nature of models and their constant modification and re-calibration. As a result, with integrated models we find increased complexity, where changes that used to impact only relatively contained models of subsystems, now propagate throughout the whole integrated system. This makes it harder to keep the overall complexity under control and, in a way, defeats the purpose of modularity, when efficiency is supposed to be gained from independent development of modules. Treating models only as software in solving the integration challenge may give birth to 'integronsters' - constructs that are perfectly valid as software products but ugly and useless as models. We argue that one possible remedy is to learn to use data as modules and integrate them into the models. Then the data that are available for module calibration can serve as an intermediate linkage tool, sitting between modules and providing a moduleindependent baseline dynamics, which is then incremented when scenarios are to be run. In this case it is not the model output that is directed into the next model input, but model output is presented as a variation around the baseline trajectory, and it is this variation that is then fed into the next module down the chain. The Chesapeake Bay Program suite of models is used to illustrate these problems and the possible solutions.
Voinov, A, Zaslavskiy, I, Arctur, D, Duffy, C & Seppelt, R 2008, 'Community modelling, and data-model interoperability', Proc. iEMSs 4th Biennial Meeting - Int. Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Integrating Sciences and Information Technology for Environmental Assessment and Decision Making, iEMSs 2008, pp. 2035-2050.
Community modelling is a promising paradigm to develop complex evolving and adaptable modelling systems that can share methods, data and models more easily within specialized communities. Why then are cooperative modelling communities still quite rare and do not propagate easily? Why has open source been so successful for software development, yet open models are still quite exotic? One difference between software and models is that software shares some common language. Models often use very different principles, theories, and semantics. For example hydrodynamic models, ecological models, and decision support models may have limited commonalities, In these cases, the disciplinary problem being solved may be the impediment to communication and to development of effective community tools these principles to another; it becomes difficult for one model to talk to another one. Similar problems prevail in data operations, when data sets (which are also models of sort) are hard to integrate with other data. An issue of contemporary interest is how will community data and models be implemented within environmental observatories. The environmental observatory may are become the ultimate driver for advancing research with a clear need for interoperability standards and functionality. There are at least three facets to the problem: * Lack of common modelling and software tools to enable modularity and connectivity; * Insufficient community understanding or access to basic tools; * Lack of social motivation and communication skills to enable communal work and sharing environments. The goals of this paper are to explore these areas with respect to the following points: * Understand the interoperability needs of the community for data and models within a participatory and collaborative framework; * Discuss research scenarios that would benefit from interoperability and explore interoperability architecture and standards supporting these scenarios; * Explore environmental syste...
Voinov, A, Arctur, D, Zaslavskiy, I & Ali, S 2008, 'Community-based software tools to support participatory modelling: A vision', Proc. iEMSs 4th Biennial Meeting - Int. Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Integrating Sciences and Information Technology for Environmental Assessment and Decision Making, iEMSs 2008, pp. 766-774.
Environmental management depends on analysis of complex dynamics and spatial relationships of ecological and socio-economic systems. Modelling, when used to conduct such analyses, is recognized as an effective decision support tool in environmental management. Modelling conducted in a participatory fashion, involving stakeholders in various stages of model building and data processing has evolved as an efficient method for conflict resolution and decision-making. However, successful participatory modelling efforts require specific software and computer tools that are not available or accessible for stakeholders. There is a clear need for specialized modelling and data processing infrastructure that would allow comprehensive environmental simulations, based on limited computer programming skills, computer power, and data availability. We are developing a software framework of model and data modules to enable various stakeholders to tap into the recent and ongoing advances in environmental modelling, and high-quality data available on the Internet. The proposed framework would allow managers and planners to run simulations of policy scenarios and utilize state-of-the-art algorithms to develop and evaluate policy alternatives. The web-based modelling framework is based on the following components: A web-based domain-specific interface which facilitates the development, configuration, and execution of models applicable to region-specific watershed issues; A data-finder and transformer unique to the landscape modelling framework that lever-ages relevant Open GIS catalogue, RDF, and GRID resource discovery standards; A module composer that uses a module pool and guided composition of modules based on expert rules, which are either automatically acquired or input from human users, to guide the simulation-modelling process; and A semi-automatic model calibrator and verifier to deliver high quality simulation models. The framework's core components, i.e. model composition...
Cox, W, Cardwell, H & Voinov, A 2008, 'SVP as a short term planning tool: Preliminary results of a pilot study', World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008: Ahupua'a - Proceedings of the World Environmental and Water Resources Congress 2008.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Shared vision planning encompasses the basic principles of traditional planning but differs from the conventional approach in its fundamental reliance on stakeholder collaboration in a process of mutual learning and discovery as facilitated by a collaboratively developed model of the system. This collaborative approach seeks to define issues and problems, identify values and interests, and explore alternative strategies for resolving conflict and solving problems. This paper reports on the preliminary results of a pilot study initiated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' Institute for Water Resources to investigate the feasibility of SVP as a planning tool in a short-term, small-scale context in support of regulatory programs and local water planning. Experience with the pilot study conducted in the James River Basin of Virginia to date suggests significant challenges to application of SVP in a short-term, small-scale planning environment. Engaging a full range of stakeholders has been hindered by restrictions imposed by the short time frame, and scale limitations created stakeholder doubt about the validity and usefulness of the process. The fact that the pilot study was presented as a limited exercise caused it to be viewed as a threat to prospects for future, larger-scale planning studies in the Basin. This experience illustrates the importance of pre-existing conditions to the success of SVP and demonstrates the special challenges that impact use of SVP in situations involving limited time and scope. © 2008 ASCE.
Filatova, T, Van Der Veen, A & Voinov, A 2008, 'An agent-based model for exploring land market mechanisms for coastal zone management', Proc. iEMSs 4th Biennial Meeting - Int. Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software: Integrating Sciences and Information Technology for Environmental Assessment and Decision Making, iEMSs 2008, pp. 792-799.
This paper presents an agent-based model of a land market (ALMA-C) to simulate the emergence of land prices and urban land patterns from bottom-up. Our model mimics individual decisions to buy and to sell land depending on economic, sociological and political factors as well as on the characteristics of the spatial environment. To this we add ecological and environmental considerations and focus on the question of how individual land use decisions can be affected to reduce the pressure on the coastal zone ecosystem functions. A series of model experiments helps visualize and explore how economic incentives at a land market can influence the spatial distribution of activities and land prices in a coastal zone. We demonstrate that economic incentives do affect urban form and pattern, land prices and welfare measures. However, they may not always be sufficient to reduce the pressure on coastal zone ecosystems.
McIntosh, BS, Voinov, A, Smith, C & Giupponi, C 2006, 'Bridging the gaps between design and use: Developing appropriate tools for environmental management and policy', Proceedings of the iEMSs 3rd Biennial Meeting," Summit on Environmental Modelling and Software".
Integrated assessment models, decision support systems (DSS) and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are examples of a growing number of computer-based tools designed to provide scientific decision and information support to people within environmental management and policy organizations. It is recognized that end-user organizations are often not as receptive to using such tools as desired but that little research has been done to uncover and understand the reasons why. As part of the process to understand what tools are used and why, and conversely what tools are not used and why, this paper presents some views on the issues involved. No claim is made regarding the completeness of the issues covered, rather the purpose of the paper is to instigate discussion about how to improve tool design practices in such a way as to benefit environmental management and policy. Conflict between the aims of tool designers to develop usable and useful tools which also contain some degree of technological innovation is highlighted as a potential cause of problems. A call for clarity of purpose in tool design is made to make it clearer both to the designer and the client organization what the main aim of the design process is as a means of uncovering mismatches in expectation. Further, a call is made for designers to move from a technology-push to a demand-pull perspective as a necessary step towards designing more appropriate tools. A range of social dimensions of relevance to tool design are also discussed including the need to involve clients and stakeholders early in the design process, whether a model should present a simple and engaging story and to what extent good science can be implemented through the use of computer models, and the need to build trust between tool designers and tool users as a necessary part of making tools useful.
Lautenbach, S, Voinov, A & Seppelt, R 2006, 'Localization effects of land use change on hydrological models', Proceedings of the iEMSs 3rd Biennial Meeting," Summit on Environmental Modelling and Software".
Semi-distributed hydrological models generally have the advantages of short calculation times, comparative low calibration needs and high model efficiency, but lack the ability to consider localization effects of land use change. A regionalisation of these models allows a sensitivity analysis of the localization effects. HBV-D, a conceptual hydrological model is used in this study. The regionalization for the German watershed Parthe (317 km 2) is coded in the framework of SME (spatial modeling environment) which allows a fast grid based regionalization of the model. Additional complexity at the finer scale is handled by downscaling of calibration parameters fromthe semi-distributedmodel by using auxiliary information (soil, relief). This allows a better representation of the heterogeneity in the watersheds without the need of grappling with hundreds of calibration parameters. A Monte-Carlo analysis is used to simulate the effects of the different spatial pattern of land use changes on discharge. This allows a better forecasting of land use change effects and can be used to generate uncertainty estimates for existing semi-distributed models. We focus here on the following major questions: 1. how can we downscale the calibration parameters from the semi-distributed model to the distributed model, 2. how do downscaling approaches differ, 3. how does land use composition and configuration influence discharge and 4. how do these results depend on catchment characteristics?
Voinov, A, Hood, RR & Daues, JD 2006, 'Building a community modeling and information sharing culture', Proceedings of the iEMSs 3rd Biennial Meeting," Summit on Environmental Modelling and Software".
By copying information from sources and distributing it to new destinations we do not lose information at the sources. Nevertheless, exchange of information is still restricted by patent law, as well as by institutional, cultural and traditional hurdles that create protective barriers hindering the free flow of this valuable commodity. We believe that one of the greatest challenges we face in creating a new research paradigm will be building the community modeling and information sharing culture. How do we get engineers and scientists to put aside their traditional modes of doing business? How do we provide the incentives that will be required to make these changes happen? How do we get our colleagues to see that the benefits of sharing resources far outweigh the costs? We argue that timely sharing of data and information is not only in the best interest of the research community, but that it is also in the best interest of the scientist who is doing the sharing.
Voinov, AA 2005, 'Understanding and communicating sustainability: Global versus regional', AIChE Annual Meeting, Conference Proceedings, p. 12970.
Sustainability in its present connotation is a Western concept that has emerged in the West and largely epresents the attitudes of the developed world. Systems in the developing countries are in transition that is further promoted by globalization. They are foreign to sustainability because by definition they are apt to change rather than maintenance, they are either in the release or renewal stages that hardly anybody wishes to sustain, or have just entered the growth stage. Sustainability is enticing for the developed economic systems, which have reached the conservation phase, and would rather endure this stage. In communicating the knowledge of sustainability it is essential to adapt to the local specifics and redefine sustainability accordingly. Local sustainability can be ensured only by borrowing energy, resources and adaptive potential from outside of the system, or by decreasing the sustainability of the global system. Sustainability of a subsystem is achieved at the expense of the supersystem or other subsystems. Therefore institutions that are to maintain life support systems on this planet need to emphasize global priorities and test policies and strategies against the sustainability of the biosphere, rather than regional or local sustainability. We illustrate these ideas with our findings in the Kola Peninsula Russia) and in the Mekong watershed.
The Library of Hydro-Ecological Modules (LHEM, http://giee.uvm.edu/LHEM) was designed to create flexible landscape model structures that can be easily modified and extended to suit the requirements of a variety of goals and case studies. The LHEM includes modules that simulate hydrologic processes, nutrient cycling, vegetation growth, decomposition, and other processes, both locally and spatially. Where possible the modules are formulated as STELLA® models, which adds to transparency and helps reuse. Spatial transport processes are presented as C++ code. The modular approach takes advantage of the spatial modeling environment (http://giee.uvm.edu/SME3) that allows integration of various STELLA models and C++ user code, and embeds local simulation models into a spatial context. Using the LHEM/SME the Patuxent landscape model (PLM) was built to simulate fundamental ecological processes in the watershed scale driven by temporal (nutrient loadings, climatic conditions) and spatial (land use patterns) forcings. Local ecosystem dynamics were replicated across a grid of cells that compose the rasterized landscape. Different habitats and land use types translate into different modules and parameter sets. Spatial hydrologic modules link the cells together. These are also part of the LHEM and define horizontal fluxes of material and information. This approach provides additional flexibility in scaling up and down over a range of spatial resolutions. Model results show good agreement with data for several components of the model at several scales. Other applications include several subwatersheds of the Patuxent, the Gwynns Falls watershed in Baltimore, and others. © 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Seppelt, R & Voinov, A 2003, 'Optimization methodology for land use patterns - evaluation based on multiscale habitat pattern comparison', ECOLOGICAL MODELLING, ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, pp. 217-231.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Parker, P, Letcher, R, Jakeman, A, Beck, MB, Harris, G, Argent, RM, Hare, M, Pahl-Wostl, C, Voinov, A, Janssen, M, Sullivan, P, Scoccimarro, M, Friend, A, Sonnenshein, M, BAker, D, Matejicek, L, Odulaja, D, Deadman, P, Lim, K, Larocque, G, Tarikhi, P, Fletcher, C, Put, A, Maxwell, T, Charles, A, Breeze, H, Nakatani, N, Mudgal, S, Naito, W, Osidele, O, Eriksson, I, Kautsky, U, Kautsky, E, Naeslund, B, Kumblad, L, Park, R, Maltagliati, S, Girardin, P, Rizzoli, A, Mauriello, D, Hoch, R, Pelletier, D, Reilly, J, Olafsdottir, R & Bin, S 2002, 'Progress in integrated assessment and modelling', ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING & SOFTWARE, ELSEVIER SCI LTD, pp. 209-217.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Parker, P, Letcher, R, Jakeman, A, Beck, MB, Harris, G, Argent, RM, Hare, M, Pahl-Wostl, C, Voinov, A, Janssen, M, Sullivan, P, Scoccimarro, M, Friend, A, Sonnenshein, M, Barker, D, Matejicek, L, Odulaja, D, Deadman, P, Lim, K, Larocque, G, Tarikhi, P, Fletcher, C, Put, A, Maxwell, T, Charles, A, Breeze, H, Nakatani, N, Mudgal, S, Naito, W, Osidele, O, Eriksson, I, Kautsky, U, Kautsky, E, Naeslund, B, Kumblad, L, Park, R, Maltagliati, S, Girardin, P, Rizzoli, A, Mauriello, D, Hoch, R, Pelletier, D, Reilly, J, Olafsdottir, R & Bin, S 1970, 'The potential for integrated assessment and modeling to solve environmental problems: Vision, capacity, and direction', UNDERSTANDING AND SOLVING ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS IN THE 21ST CENTURY: TOWARD A NEW, INTEGRATED HARD PROBLEM SCIENCE, 2nd EcoSummit Workshop, ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, HALIFAX, CANADA, pp. 19-39.View/Download from: Publisher's site
Voinov, A, Costanza, R, Wainger, L, Boumans, R, Villa, F, Maxwell, T & Voinov, H 1998, 'Integrated ecological economic modeling of watersheds', PROCEEDINGS OF THE 1998 CONFERENCE ON MISSION EARTH: MODELING AND SIMULATION OF THE EARTH SYSTEM, Conference on Mission Earth - Modelling and Simulation of the Earth System, at the 1998 Western MultiConference, SOC COMPUTER SIMULATION, SAN DIEGO, CA, pp. 35-40.