Ontology-based simulation in agricultural systems modeling
A methodology and applications of ontology-based simulation are presented. An environment for building simulations based on the Lyra ontology management system is described which includes web-based visual design tools for constructing models and automatically generating simulation code. The ontology is used for representing all equations and all symbols appearing in these equations that are needed to describe a model. The example applications presented are models of soil, water, and nutrient management in citrus and sugarcane. Results thus far show that the ontology-based approach has advantages for representing the model structure, equations, and symbols, that complex models can be described in this format, and that efficient simulation code can be generated automatically from the ontology definition of the model. Potential applications, not yet fully explored, include ability to automatically connect models and data sources, using the ontology to organize model bases containing many models and model components, and using ontology reasoners to search for models, automatically discover model similarities and differences, and generate model instances from general principles.
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