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Input Variable Selection for Environmental Modelling: we need your contributions

Dear iEMSs members,

A group of iEMSs members has just launched a new initiative called IVS4EM (Input Variable Selection for Environmental Modelling), the aim of which is to support a comprehensive and open framework for the testing and evaluation of IVS algorithms, through the sharing of algorithms (open source code), datasets, and evaluation criteria. 

There is a dedicated website, where we have already uploaded 4 IVS algorithms, 26 datasets, and several evaluation metrics. There is also a link where anyone interested can share their own tools and data. Finally, a paper on the initiative has also just been published in EMS:

Galelli S., Humphrey G.B., Maier H.R., Castelletti A., Dandy G.C. and Gibbs M.S. An evaluation framework for input variable selection algorithms for environmental data-driven models, Environmental Modelling and Software, 62, 33-51, DOI: 10.1016/j.envsoft.2014.08.015.

We hope to receive many contributions. 


ISESS – International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems

ISESS – International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems

The International Symposium on Environmental Software Systems (ISESS) is one of several overlapping forums discussing issues of Environmental Information Systems, Environmental Decision Support Systems, Environmental Software Systems, Environmental Informatics, Eco-Informatics or Enviromatics. 

ISESS brings together researchers dealing with environmental challenges and trying to provide solutions using forward-looking and leading-edge IT technology. The conference glues together researchers and users to overcome a manifold of technology changes and dynamics by using their best knowledge to improve our environment, respectively the wellbeing of our society. 

ISESS was founded 1995, with support from the International Federation for Information Processing (IFIP) Working Group WG 5.11 “Computers and Environment”  and the German Informatics Society Working Group WG 4.6 “Computer Science for Environmental Protection”. 

ISESS, as a working conference, is the most important activity of IFIP WG 5.11 and it is held every odd numbered year. Smaller ISESS workshops are held in even-numbered years in collaboration with other important environmental related conferences and societies like iEMSs, EnviroInfo, MODSIM etc. 

This year’s collaboration with iEMSs is focused on the organisation of the following three sessions reflecting challenging topics in the environmental domain:

  • Session A4: Smart and Mobile Devices Used for Environmental Applications within the stream “Cyberinfrastructure and Cloud Computing for Environmental Modeling” – Organizers: Ralf Denzer and Peter Fitch
  • Session A5: Parallel Simulation of Environmental Phenomena  Organizers: Ralf Denzer and Peter Fitch 
  • Session F5: Advances in Environmental Software Systems  Organizers: Ioannis N. Athanasiadis, Robert Argent, Ralf Denzer, Andrea E. Rizzoli, Gerald Schimak, David Swayne, Jiri Hrebicek

For all Session details see the following icon iEMSs2014 – Joint Call for Abstract iEMSs-ISESS.


Environmental Data Mining Working Group

Environmental Data Mining Working Group

More and more, big quantities of complex data are available on Environmental Systems and constitute a precious source of information to be exploited to better understand those systems. The analysis of environmental data require advanced and sophisticated modelling techniques to extract the proper relevant knowledge contained. The EDMWg aims to become a meeting point of scientists and researchers interested in approaching and to promoting the interaction between the Environmental Sciences community and the Data Mining community and related fields, such as Artificial Intelligence, Statistics or other fields to disseminate the correct use of Data Mining techniques in the analysis of real Environmental data. Exchange between the needs from the environmental analysts and the possibilities of most advanced data mining algorithms is intended. This working group has a bianual meeting inside the iEMSs conference, in the DMTES workshop series and associated special session. 

The first activity of the group is to launch the Environmental Data Mining Observatoire, a collaborative project where interested researchers can report a short form on the papers they read in the area and periodical reports will highlight which are the most used data mining techniques for the different environmental problems. Any time you read a paper on environmental data mining, please, feel free to devote few minutes feeling the form and get knowledge about what this community reads 


  • Karina Gibert (
  • Miquel Sanchez-i-Marre (

Ecosystem Services Concept for Environmental Management

Ecosystem Services Concept for Environmental Management

The ecosystem services concept enables development of policies that integrate social, economic, and ecological perspectives. Integrated environmental models are prone to support this concept as those can integrate several ecological functions, support the analysis of trade-offs and have been developed to a state where stakeholders can be involved and management solution can be derived. 

How can environmental modelling support the implementation of the ecosystem services concept for environmental management? Towards appropriate methods for investigation, assessment, and implementation of ecosystem services in environmental management. 

Topics of the thread

  • Model based quantifying ecosystem services
  • Use of ecosystem service modelling in regional case studies for environmental management
  • Who is using it where? Examples for the implementation of the ecosystem services concept in environmental management (under stakeholder involvement)

Thus in this thread we seek for discussions on regional studies and model development, that support a biophysical founded assessment of ecosystem services studies. Thus we seek for interdisciplinary examples by focussing on abiotic (water provisioning, regulating, soil protection) as well biotic processes (provisioning services, crop production, pollination, biocontrol). We welcome projects that performance those studies with modelling approaches on different levels of complexity. Second, we seek for investigations that specifically analyze trade-offs and off site effects. Thirdly, we appreciate to see how these results fed into a stakeholder process (for instance using multi criteria analysis and weighting of ecosystem services for assessment). We expect to get excellent examples of these issues to stimulate consistency and creativity of future ESS studies. 


  • Ralf Seppelt, UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany 
  • Martin Volk, UFZ, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research, Leipzig, Germany 
  • Ann van Griensven, UNESCO-IHE, Delft, The Netherlands


Complexity and Feedbacks in Socio-Environmental Systems

Complexity and Feedbacks in Socio-Environmental Systems

Overall goals:

  • Initiate and maintain a discussion process about feedbacks in socio-environmental systems
  • Initiate, plan & publish papers

Current objectives: 

  1. Develop a common language and an analytical framework to study feedback mechanisms and their implementation in models / modelling frameworks.
  2. Review and analyse existing approaches, identify state of the art and research needs.
  3. Present (best practice) examples for technical implementation in broadly used simulation methods (ABM, CA, GA, ODE), identify and discuss advantages, shortcomings and research needs.

Publish results of 1 – 3 in various steps (currently 2 papers planned)

Founding members (alphabetical):

  • Dalgaard Tommy (
  • Jakoby Oliver (
  • Lautenbach Sven (
  • Le Bao (
  • Otero Viviana (
  • Priess Jörg (initiator) (
  • Schwarz Nina (
  • Seidl Roman (
  • vanDelden Hedwig (

Educational Resources


Here we collect links to educatonal resources that can help prepare courses, presentations, etc. We also intend to use this repository to present the materials that will be published in the new Journal rubric on “Teaching and Learning Tools/Software”.

Integrated Modelling


The Community for Integrated Environmental Modeling (CIEM) or the IM4E (Integrated Modeling for the Environment) has been started as an effort to facilitate discussions and development of software tools and standards for integrated modeling. 

Currently it is functioning as a Google Group, where you can join if interested. 

Distributed Environmental Modelling

Distributed Environmental Modelling

The topic of this thread is environmental modeling that uses resources or services that exist distributed in the Internet. The overall goal is to study methods and technologies of distributed environmental modeling. 

We are especially interested in how to use existing standards or new standards that should be developed. This thread is a response to the iEMSs and OGC memorandum of understanding. The methods of work include development of demonstrator systems, preparation of scientific papers, organization and running of workshops and sessions in conferences, and collaborative work. The thread is open for participation of interested researchers.