A Relational Model for Simulation Data to Promote Interdisciplinary Collaboration

Monday, 15 December 2014
Anthony M Castronova, Amber Spackman Jones and Jeffery S Horsburgh, Utah State University, Logan, UT, United States
Hydrologic modeling is an essential component to understanding the physical processes that govern water resources systems. The process representation, approach, and scale used in each model can vary greatly among scientific domains. In addition, many models use proprietary data input and output file formats making it difficult to share results among scientists. These factors limit the extent to which cross disciplinary models can grow, and as a result, restricts collaboration across academic disciplines. The heterogeneity of data formats among models also inhibits archival due to the lack of consistent metadata and the inability to quickly inspect file contents. This work investigates a method for archiving model simulation input and output time series data in an easily accessible manner. We present a relational data model for representing simulation-based data that extends the functionality of the Observations Data Model (version 2). We demonstrate its use by implementing a PostgreSQL database with geospatial support via PostGIS, and illustrate how it is used to store and retrieve data to facilitate sharing among models and scientists.