Template for Conceptual Model Construction: Model Components and Application of the Template

Template for Conceptual Model Construction: Model Components and Application of the Template,Jim E. Henderson,L. Jean O'Neil

Template for Conceptual Model Construction: Model Components and Application of the Template   (Citations: 1)
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PURPOSE: This technical note reports on component categories identified for a template for conceptual model construction (template) and presents application of the template. The template for conceptual model construction is being presented in two technical notes; the first identified categories of descriptors (model construction parameters) that characterize the model (Henderson and O'Neil 2007) and this, the second note, presents the categories of components for the model. A Baltimore District study, the Middle Potomac Watershed Study, is the basis for an application of the template using the six-step model development process outlined in Henderson and O'Neil (2004). BACKGROUND: Use of models (conceptual, ecosystem, and decision support models) in systemwide studies is expanding due to requirements for integration of model outputs and due to the emphasis on watershed and regional approaches to water resource problems. Conceptual models assist in integrating the multiple disciplines and models that were brought to bear in a systemwide study - providing for a common framework, communication, and identification of significant resources and pathways. By providing a framework for understanding the dynamics and relationships of complex systems, conceptual models are frequently an initial step in development or selection of numerical or dynamic simulation models (U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) Coastal and Hydraulics Laboratory 2006; Roden and Scheibe 2005). Commonalities among the resources and processes of water resource systems have resulted in conceptual models that were developed with similar components, often at different levels of detail or quantification. The commonality of components gave rise to the idea of developing a template for conceptual model construction, providing categories of components for the user to review and identify the appropriate components for their study. For the template, sources of the categories of components are from previously reviewed and constructed models. The model construction parameters, which are being called descriptors1, were developed from a review and synthesis of descriptors used in existing conceptual models. The present technical note documents the review and synthesis of component categories for the template. During development of the component categories for this report, the Baltimore District began discussions on use of a conceptual model to identify potential ecosystem restoration projects for 1 Descriptors (i.e., model construction parameters) are model uses, geographic extent, time/spatial scale, and model
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