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Increasing the reliability of ecological models using modern software engineering techniques

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Scheller, Robert M.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Ward, Brendan C.; Mladenoff, David J.

Year Published

2009

Publication

Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8(5): 253-260.

Abstract

Modern software development techniques are largely unknown to ecologists. Typically, ecological models and other software tools are developed for limited research purposes, and additional capabilities are added later, usually in an ad hoc manner. Modern software engineering techniques can substantially increase scientific rigor and confidence in ecological models and tools. These techniques have the potential to transform how ecological software is conceived and developed, improve precision, reduce errors, and increase scientific credibility. We describe our re-engineering of the forest landscape model LANDIS (LANdscape DIsturbance and Succession) to illustrate the advantages of using common software engineering practices.

Citation

Scheller, Robert M.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Ward, Brendan C.; Mladenoff, David J. 2009. Increasing the reliability of ecological models using modern software engineering techniques. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 8(5): 253-260. https://doi.org/10.1890/080141.

Last updated on: September 28, 2010