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Assembly modalities in agronomic software platforms and consequences for re-use

Martin P., Clouvel P.. 2010. In : Wery Jacques (ed.), Shili-Touzi I. (ed.), Perrin A. (ed.). Proceedings of Agro 2010 : the XIth ESA Congress, August 29th - September 3rd, 2010, Montpellier, France. Montpellier : Agropolis international, p. 855-856. ESA Congress. 11, 2010-08-29/2010-09-03, Montpellier (France).

Since the 1980s, the idea of joining simulation programs in order to access to additional knowledge has given birth to software platforms such as DSSAT (Jones et al, 2003). From a standpoint of agronomy, the assembly operation may seem like something simple since it comes to giving an order of execution of programs and connect their inputs and outputs. From a computer scientist point of view, the exercise is not trivial because it supposes that the semantic consistency of the exchanged variables be insured. This consistency can be ensured either by imposing a variable list of input / output (typing), like the DSSAT version 3, or by the imposition of a common sub-model, like CENTURY in DSSAT version 4. In this case, the exchange sub-model may require the restructuring of the program source code (formatting). Furthermore, actual trend in software platform construction is the use of generic support media to support program assembly such as MODCOM (Hillyer, 2003), OpenMI (Gregersen et al., 2007), or VLE (Quesnel et al., 2009). The software platforms APES and SEAMLESS-IF (Brouwer and Ittersum, 2010), for example, adopt MODCOM and OpenMI respectively as support media. The question of choosing an assembly support medium, be it generic or specific, with regard to modelling purposes is not addressed in literature. The objective of this document is to present a method for characterizing the assembly support medium and evaluate its adequacy vs. the platform requirements.

Mots-clés : modèle de simulation; logiciel; analyse de données; agronomie

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