Uncertainty analysis in the Model Web

  • Richard Jones

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


    This thesis provides a set of tools for managing uncertainty in Web-based models and workflows.To support the use of these tools, this thesis firstly provides a framework for exposing models through Web services. An introduction to uncertainty management, Web service interfaces,and workflow standards and technologies is given, with a particular focus on the geospatial domain.An existing specification for exposing geospatial models and processes, theWeb Processing Service (WPS), is critically reviewed. A processing service framework is presented as a solutionto usability issues with the WPS standard. The framework implements support for Simple ObjectAccess Protocol (SOAP), Web Service Description Language (WSDL) and JavaScript Object Notation (JSON), allowing models to be consumed by a variety of tools and software. Strategies for communicating with models from Web service interfaces are discussed, demonstrating the difficultly of exposing existing models on the Web.
    This thesis then reviews existing mechanisms for uncertainty management, with an emphasis on emulator methods for building efficient statistical surrogate models. A tool is developed to solve accessibility issues with such methods, by providing a Web-based user interface and backend to ease the process of building and integrating emulators. These tools, plus the processing service framework, are applied to a real case study as part of the UncertWeb project. The usability of the framework is proved with the implementation of aWeb-based workflow for predicting future crop yields in the UK, also demonstrating the abilities of the tools for emulator building and integration. Future directions for the development of the tools are discussed.
    Date of Award24 Jan 2014
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorDan Cornford (Supervisor) & Lucy Bastin (Supervisor)


    • emulation
    • Model Web
    • interoperability
    • uncertainty management

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