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Showing posts from July, 2017

Ecosystem development: from process-oriented to object-oriented system

One of my recent projects is to develop a three-dimensional coupled water and carbon cycle ecosystem model. After finished the first version of the system, I wasn't quite satisfied with the system architecture, partly due to the complexity of the system dependency.

In fact, I have spent great amount of time trying to design the system to be well-structured. Using class in C++11, I have defined many classes to controls different types of algorithms and processes. 
The interesting part of the story started to unveil when I started to write/revise the manuscript. When I tried to explain the conceptual model, I realized that even though the current system has use object-oriented programming (OOP) approach through class, most components within the system are not actually using the OOP concept at all. In a word, the system still acts like a process-oriented program.
Taking a review of several other Earth system models (e.g., Community Land Model), I realized that unfortunately most of c…