SPICOSA Model Library

Product Owner 

EU 6th Framework Directive under Priority Global Change and Ecosystems

Developing practical tools and new applications to support integrated environmental management is not straightforward. Often, considerable time and resources are spent on collecting data and designing models. A generic library of reusable model-building components will facilitate the design of new models, the maintenance of existing models, and exchange and reuse of model constructs between model developers of different skill levels. This will reduce the proportion of resources spent on modelling activities, leaving more room for model application, interactions with end-users and stakeholders, interdisciplinary exchanges, and field work. The SPICOSA model library has been developed by the model support workpackage to assist with the interdisciplinary integration of social science and economics with physics and ecology (the ‘Systems Approach Framework’ or SAF. The applications for 18 case studies focused on coastal zone and river-basin management (water quality, agriculture, fisheries, aquaculture, and coastal tourism). The models are based on system dynamics methodology, analysing the response of systems to policy interventions and stressors as a result from the internal feedback structure of the system. ExtendSim® was adopted as common modelling platform for this project and follow-up projects due to the flexibility to support modellers with different skills levels, the graphical tools for the development of user interfaces, and the powerful C-type modelling language ModL. The majority of the library components are code in this language and can easily be exported to other modelling platforms.
Application & Target Markets 

Environmental modelling community
Participatory modelling community, including policy makers and end users

Competitive Advantages 

Model Library: Clear guidelines for the design and application of reusable model building components (published in a peer-reviewed SCI journal)
Generic applicability of components, case study model libraries and applications have been screened and are available online

ExtendSim®: powerful scripting language (ModL) for experienced modellers, graphical alternative for less skilled modellers and students; graphical tools for user interface development and policy-support tools; support for custom-defined internal databases; free, downloadable runtime version.

Stage of Commercial Development Info: 

Applied in EU-funded projects and projects funded by the Flemish Government (Flemish Environment Agency)