Programme of the conference Topics Distributed Modelling

(Convenors: David Swayne, e-mail:

Many models (including, of course, environmental models) have internal structure in which different components are developed according to the specialty of the domain discipline (e.g. hydrology, geochemistry, limnology, biology). As models grow in complexity (through finer time resolution or spatial decomposition) it may become necessary to build the models on a separable component-by-component basis, with robust linkages for information exchange and overall control. This decomposition may allow modelling to be distributed over several threads, or even over several computers, possibly resident at different laboratories. Model components may even have differing temporal or spatial scales. Parallelization of effort also becomes possible, with the aim to shorten the wall-clock time to completion of a model run, as compared to serial computation.

This session aims to bring researchers together who have been developing models and models components in a distributed framework, to assess what are the accomplishments and the hurdles to be overcome. Papers are sought which have one or more of the following characteristics (and many others):

  • they examine the robustness of distribution of modelling through an open framework;
  • they assess the potential for speedup through use of distributed computer architectures; and/or
  • they explore the issues surrounding collaborative modelling amongst multiple laboratories, such as
    • the protection of intellectual property,
    • the distribution of cost, and
    • the maintenance of key components.

Some of these subtopics will be discussed through the formal presentation of papers. As well, proposals for discussion forums or workshops on the topic of distributed modelling will be considered.