Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Environmental decision support systems (EDSS) development - Challenges and best practices
McIntosh, B.S. ; Ascough, J.C. ; Twery, M. ; Chew, J. ; Elmahdi, A. ; Haase, D. ; Harou, J.J. ; Hepting, D. ; Cuddy, S. ; Jakeman, A.J. ; Chen, S. ; Kassahun, A. ; Lautenbach, S. ; Matthews, K. ; Merritt, W. ; Quinn, N.W.T. ; Rodriguez-Roda, I. ; Sieber, S. ; Stavenga, M. ; Sulis, A. ; Ticehurst, J. ; Volk, M. ; Wrobel, M. ; Delden, H. ; El-Sawah, S. ; Rizzoli, A. ; Voinov, A. - \ 2011
Environmental Modelling & Software 26 (2011)12. - ISSN 1364-8152 - p. 1389 - 1402.
river-basin management - ecosystem management - resource management - united-states - integration - models - tools - information - policy - dss
Despite the perceived value of DSS in informing environmental and natural resource management, DSS tools often fail to be adopted by intended end users. By drawing together the experience of a global group of EDSS developers, we have identified and assessed key challenges in EDSS development and offer recommendations to resolve them. Challenges related to engaging end users in EDSS development emphasise the need for a participatory process that embraces end users and stakeholders throughout the design and development process. Adoption challenges concerned with individual and organisational capacities to use EDSS and the match between EDSS and organisational goals can be overcome through the use of an internal champion to promote the EDSS at different levels of a target organisation; coordinate and build capacity within the organisation, and; ensure that developers maintain focus on developing EDSS which are relatively easy and inexpensive to use and update (and which are perceived as such by the target users). Significant challenges exist in relation to ensuring EDSS longevity and financial sustainability. Such business challenges may be met through planning and design that considers the long-term costs of training, support, and maintenance; revenue generation and licensing by instituting processes which support communication and interactions; and by employing software technology which enables easy model expansion and re use to gain an economy of scale and reduce development costs. A final group of perhaps more problematic challenges relate to how the success of EDSS ought to be evaluated. Whilst success can be framed relatively easily in terms of interactions with end users, difficulties of definition and measurability emerge in relation to the extent to which EDSS achieve intended outcomes. To tackle the challenges described, the authors provide a set of best practice recommendations concerned with promoting design for ease of use, design for usefulness, establishing trust and credibility, promoting EDSS acceptance, and starting simple and small in functionality terms. Following these recommendations should enhance the achievement of successful EDSS adoption, but more importantly, help facilitate the achievement of desirable social and environmental outcomes.
Integrated Modelling Frameworks for Environmental Assessment and Decision Support
Rizzoli, A.E. ; Leavesley, G. ; Ascough, J.C. ; Argent, R.M. ; Athanasiadis, I.N. ; Brilhante, V. ; Claeys, F.H.A. ; David, O. ; Donatelli, M. ; Gijsbers, P. ; Havlik, D. ; Kassahun, A. ; Krause, P. ; Quinn, N.W.T. ; Scholten, H. ; Sojda, R.S. ; Villa, F. - \ 2008
In: State of the Art and new perspective / Jakeman, A.J., Voinov, A.A., Rizzoli, A.E., Chen, S.H., Elsevier (Environmental modelling, software and decision support 3) - ISBN 9780080568867 - p. Chap. 7 - Chap. 7.
Modern management of environmental resources defines problems from a holistic and integrated perspective, imposing strong requirements to Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDSSs) and Integrated Assessment Tools (IATs), which tend to be increasingly complex in terms of software architecture and computational power in order to cope with the type of problems they must solve. Such systems need to support methodologies and techniques ranging from agent-based modelling to participatory decision-making. Sometimes EDSSs and IATs are built from scratch, often with limited resources, by non-programmers. The disadvantages of this approach, which can quickly become overly expensive in terms of delivery time and resources required, have been addressed by the development of suites of software engineering tools called Environmental Integrated Modelling Frameworks (EIMFs). EIMFs have typically been designed as a response to the increasing complexity of building and delivering EDSSs and IATs. Modelling and simulation tools and frameworks have been adopted at a large scale in the management science and operations research disciplines, and standards for developing and expanding them have been developed. In contrast, no modelling framework has been universally adopted within the environmental modelling domain, and the number of environmental modelling frameworks is still growing. In this book chapter, we strive to address the above issues and clearly identify the essential characteristics of an EIMF. This book chapter also advocates the development of open standards for the exchange and re-use of modelling knowledge, including data sets, models, and procedures in order to facilitate improved communication among the leading EIMFs
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