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Model Operations

The model operations group was founded in autumn 2011 as a consequence of the new challenges that arise from the work with high-complexity optimization models such as REMIND (developed by the "Global Energy Systems"-group, "Energy Resources and Technologies"-group and "Macro"-group) or MAgPIE (developed by the "Landuse"-group). With ongoing development models become more detailed and accurate, but also computationally more demanding and harder to manage and understand in all dimensions. The aim of model operations is to ensure usability of these complex models in the future and to explore synergies in the model development between different models and working groups.

Key task: Increasing efficiency by ...

    ... increasing work efficiency

      • defining programming standards to keep the model code comprehensible and gain synergies via commonly usable tools
      • technical and numerical consulting ("help desk") based on an overview of the whole spectrum of code development in RD3
      • ensuring knowledge and quality management within and across working groups

    ... increasing model efficiency

      • code optimization to reduce resource requirements and run time
      • modularization of the optimization models via separation along content related model parts to enable independent realizations of model components

    ... increasing transparency and reproducibility

      • advocating for, supporting and conducting Open Source publications of tools and models
      • developing tools such as madrat which help structuring work-flows


    Model Operations successfully prepared the models REMIND and MAgPIE for several projects (e.g. AMPERE, LIMITS, RoSE) in the last years. Thereby a bundle of tools for code development and code checking are developed. Beside the work with these high-complex models Model Operations assists the development of various smaller models (e.g. LIMES, MICA, PRIDE) mainly developed by "Policy Instruments"-group and "ESED"-group of RD3. For a comprehensive overview of the work of Model Operations including several examples please view this presentation that was given to the model strategy seminar at PIK ("How to set up a model operations group", July 2013).


    MO-Auge MO-Seite

    As the work of model operations is highly interlinked with the work of the other working groups in RD3 all members of model operations are also associated to at least one of the other working groups. Model operations forms a second layer on-top of the existing working group structure focusing on software engineering aspects while supporting the working groups in their research. Combining software engineering with domain specific knowledge is the indispensable key concept in this process.

    Group members

    Presentations and talks

    • Introducing the modular structure of REMIND at the modelers meeting, September 2012, document
    • PIK meets HPI: management of input data?, February 2013, document
    • Presentation for the delegation of the World Bank in Poland, Polish Ministries of Finance and Economy, KOBIZE Emissions management center, January 2014, document
    • Bringing structure into data processing work-flows in R, Second Conference of Research Software Engineers (RSE17), Manchester, September 2017, document
    • Seminar talk "Professional tools for energy analysis and policy" at University of Wisconsin, WI, USA, Oct 2017, document

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