Computational modeling systems

Terence R. Smith, Jianwen Su, Amr El Abbadi, Divyakant Agrawal, Gustavo Alonso, Amitabh Saran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)


A computational modeling system (CMS) provides scientific investigators with a unified computational environment and easy access to a broad range of modeling tools. The goal of a CMS is to provide computational support that increases the efficiency of scientists in the iterative process of modeling. A CMS consists of a computational modeling environment and transparent computational support for the environment. The modeling environment is based on a characterization of scientific modeling activities that is focussed on the manner in which scientific concepts are represented, manipulated, and evaluated, in the scientific modeling process. Based on a formalization of the representation for a concept as representational structures (or "R-structures"), the process of scientific modeling may be viewed as one in which (1) extensible collections R-structures are constructed, evaluated and applied in modeling both the phenomena in specific application domains and the phenomena of the modeling process itself; and (2) instances of the domain elements of R-structures are created and sequences of transformations are applied to the instances. R-structures provide a "complete" and consistent foundation for both the modeling environment of a CMS and its associated, high-level computational modeling language (CML). CML may be employed in creating, accessing, and manipulating R-structures and their components in a simple, uniform manner. A CMS provides a unifying framework for the integration of existing tools, such as DBMS and mathematical software modules, and a distributed modeling environment. Based on the general specification of a CMS, we have designed and implemented a specific CMS, Amazonia, which supports earth science applications in terms of a specific set of R-structures and a "seamlessly" integrated and extendable collection of computational modules, including an object-oriented DBMS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)127-153
Number of pages27
JournalInformation Systems
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 1995
Externally publishedYes



  • Computational modeling systems
  • data models
  • scientific database systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Information Systems
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management Information Systems
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Cite this

Smith, T. R., Su, J., El Abbadi, A., Agrawal, D., Alonso, G., & Saran, A. (1995). Computational modeling systems. Information Systems, 20(2), 127-153.