A Service Oriented Approach to Modeling Interdisciplinary Environmental Systems

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Interdisciplinary research often requires the use of multiple data sources, models, and analysis routines coupled together in a workflow to answer a single research question. Coupling these computational resources into a workflow can be accomplished using various tools, but each of these tools requires the developer to follow a specific interface protocol to ensure that all components within the system remain compliant. Unfortunately, not all of the resources required for an analysis can be easily "wrapped" into a compliant form due to platform dependencies, computer architecture requirements, or programming language incompatibilities. Therefore, a more generic, service-oriented approach is needed that enables individual models to operate as intended and interact with other models through web service calls. This work presents a method for coupling independent models using web services to meditate communication. It consists of both client and server-side software. The client-side software extends a loosely integrated modeling environment for coupling data and models into configurations. The server-side software consists of software required for exposing datasets and models as web services. We build from the Open Modeling Interface (OpenMI) version 2.0 standard and demonstrate how it can be used to perform service-oriented simulations. We describe the design and implementation of both server and client-side software, the application of the software as part of an urban flood warning system, and offer suggestions for future work needed to advance service-oriented modeling of interdisciplinary environmental systems.

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