Thursday, September 27, 2012

My Past Research on Hydroinformatics, GIS and Modelling by Components

Research in the aforementioned sectors was also carried out with the implementation of  open-source software, coded in C and Java and distributed with a GPL (v 3) license.  Involvement in this topic has been deemed necessary to easy cooperative research, and to improve reuse of codes among researchers and students,  and allow an incremental development of modelling solutions (avoiding to implement again and again the same algorithms at any new generation of students).
The software has been accurately documented [eb1 to eb13] so that it can be easily reused and modified for both research and didactic purposes.  The software originally included a series of C libraries for reading, writing and insertion of comments in the data files, dynamic allocation of memory, the statistical treatment of data aimed  especially at hydrology, hydraulics, and geomorphology, but not limited to these.  On the basis of these libraries, called "Fluid Turtles" and now obsolete, was implemented the initial version GEOtop model [j24, s3]  and an initial version of  the  Horton machine [e.g. eb-3, s3].

However, the traditional software architecture of the Fluid Turtles presented various limitations. Mainly: the lack of an interface for the processing of  input data and the treatment of output data and the difficulty of maintaining and testing the software and its parts each one independently from the others, with the growing number of processes being described [e.g. A44, A49]. In fact, with the increasing number of people working on the code, and with the success of the modelling ideas among users, it became necessary to be able to test and use groups of parts of the models separately (as in JGrass-NewAGE).  It was also envisioned necessary to predispose the models  to be linked (in the future) to external models, such as, for example, those simulating the evolution of the atmospheric boundary layer, or belonging to other domains than hydrology (for instance to build a Decision Support System).
These, and other reasons [J40], have brought through a decade of work, trials and errors, on the one hand, to the development of a new GIS,  JGrass, eventually embedded in uDig,  and, on the other, to the adoption of suitable informatics infrastructure in order to restructure the models in components according to the OMS standard.

In the latest version, JGrass has partially contributed to the uDig "core" [eb10, A49, J41], while the modeling part is migrating to the jgrasstools environment (based on OMS) called Spatial Toolbox.
The last version of the tools has been actually embedded in Hydrologis' S.T.A.G.E which is a stand-alone application connectable, in principle, to any Java GIS (thinking to future versions of uDig or GvSig). The tools for terrain analysis included in STAGE  (a.k.a "The Horton Machine") are well covered by [a57]

Along the years various prototypes where developed around the above infrastructures to connect models to SQL/Geographic databases (Postgresql/Postgis), to visualise results on the Nasa World Wind virtual globe, and to allows scripting to interact with models which were presented in various conferences, and on which we could discuss with those interested.


In English:

[ J24] - Rigon R., Bertoldi G e T. M. Over, GEOtop: A distributed hydrological model with coupled water and energy budgets, Vol. 7, No. 3, pages 371-388

[A49] Formetta G., Antonello A., Franceschi S., David O. and Rigon R., The informatics of the hydrological modelling system JGrass-NewAge, 2012 International Congress on Environmental Modelling and Software Managing Resources of a Limited Planet, Sixth Biennial Meeting, Leipzig, Germany R. Seppelt, A.A. Voinov, S. Lange, D. Bankamp (Eds.) 2012-proceedings, 2012

[J40] - Formetta G., Antonello A., Franceschi S., David O., and Rigon R., Hydrological modelling with components: A GIS-based open-source framework, Environmental Modelling & Software, 5 (2014), 190-200

[a57]- W. Abera, A. Antonello, S. Franceschi, G. Formetta, R Rigon , "The uDig Spatial Toolbox for hydro-geomorphic analysis" in Geomorphological Techniques, v. 4, n. 1 (2014), p. 1-19.

[eb2-b] Ghesla, E. and R. Rigon, A Tutorial for the Management of Digital Terrain Models, pg. 131, University of Trento, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, ISBN 10: 88-8443-155-7, 2006 (Now obsolete)

[eb3] - R.Rigon, E. Ghesla, C. Tiso and A. Cozzini, The Horton Machine, pg. viii, 136, ISBN 10:88-8443-147-6, University of Trento, 2006 (Now obsolete)

[eb4-a] Ghesla E and R. Rigon, A Tutorial for preparing GEOtop Input Files with JGrass, pg. vi, 62, ISBN 10:88-8443-153-0, University of Trento, 2006

* [eb05] Dall’Amico, A., Endrizzi, E., Gruber, S., Rigon R., The GEOtop Manual, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

In Italian:

[A44] Antonello A., Franceschi S., Formetta G., Rigon R., L’infrastruttura NewAGE per la previsione e la gestione dei bilanci idrici a scala di bacino: I - La struttura informatica in Atti XXXII Convegno di Idraulica e Costruzioni Idrauliche, Palermo, 14-17 Settembre 2010

[eb1-a] Antonello, A., S. Franceschi, A. Vitti e R. Rigon, Il Manuale JGRASS 2.0 (In Italiano), pg. 176, ISBN 10:88-8443-144-1, University of Trento, 2006 (Now obsolete)

[eb2-a] Ghesla, E. and R. Rigon, Un tutorial per il trattamento di modelli digitali del terreno con JGRASS - A Tutorial for the treatment of DEMs with JGRASS (in Italian), ISBN 10: 88-8443-146-8, 2006 (Now obsolete)

[eb4-b] Ghesla E and R. Rigon, Un tutorial per la generazione dei file di input per GEOtop utilizzando JGrass, pg. vi, 62, ISBN 10:88-8443-154-9, University of Trento, 2006 (Now obsolete)

* [eb6] Rigon R., Formetta G., Zini M., Franceschi S., Antonello A., La Horton Machine, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

* [eb7] Rigon R., Formetta G., Perathoner L., Iemma A., Franceschi S., Antonello A., Jiffle, una breve introduzione, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

* [eb8] Rigon R., Formetta G., Perathoner L., Franceschi S., Antonello A., Peakflow: teoria e pratica, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

* [eb9] Franceschi S., Rigon R., Formetta G., Perathoner L., Antonello A., Trentop, Manuale d’uso, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

* [eb10] - Antonello A., Franceschi S., Rigon R., Formetta G., Perathoner L., uDig: Installare lo Spatial Toolboox, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

[eb11] - Iemma, A., Antonello A., Franceschi S., Rigon R., Formetta G., Perathoner L., uDig walkthroughs, Lavorare con i formati di GRASS in uDig, Università di Trento, in press, 2013

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