The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #9605

Title:Inform-Logic: a System for Representing Uncertainty in Ecological Models
Date: 1996
Abstract:The construction of ecological models is known as an activity where conventional modelling and simulation techniques are applied to a poorly understood problem. The usual outcomes are simulation models populated with uncertainty, giving numerical results without any statement of this uncertainty behind them. What can be done about this? It is very unlikely that in a near furutre we will be able to fully understand the complexities of an ecosystem. The alternative that we investigate in this work is to make uncertainty explicit to the modeller and/or user, having recognised that the complexity of the real world, the poor understanding we have of it, and the nature of modelling itself, lead to the inevitable presence of uncertainty in ecological models. In INFORM-logic, a system dynamics ecological model is taken as a sample and described in a logical representation. Sources of uncertainty are declaratively represented, propagated during simulation, and combined. The combined sources of uncertainty are then presented to the user, giving support for reasoning about the existing uncertainty in the ecological model.

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