Logic-Based Approaches to Ecological Modeling
In Eco-Logic, the authors describe an alternative approach, one that views simulation models as logical statements.
When applied to problems in poorly structured domains such as government decision making, conventional methods for simulating - for example, a controversial problem like acid rain - prove to be flawed. In Eco-Logic, the authors describe an alternative approach, one that views simulation models as logical statements. Using the techniques of logic programming, they provide a standard notation for the construction of ecological simulation programs that can be readily understood by those who lack modeling, mathematical, or programming skills.
The authors demonstrate this approach in the domain of ecological modeling by building a series of computer programs to assist ecologists to build simulation models. They show how the description of an ecological situation can be represented and then incrementally refined into a simulation model. This enables ecologists to describe problems initially in ecological terms, rather than in mathematical or programming terms. It also enables the final model to be formally related to the original ecological description. This permits a computer program to give ecologically meaningful explanations of the results of the model, and facilitates rapid remodeling if the underlying assumptions of the model are modified.