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MIMS Framework



The Multimedia Integrated Modeling System (MIMS) framework is a software infrastructure or environment for constructing, composing,  executing, and evaluating cross-media models. In this context "media" refers to different substances, such as air,  water, soil, and animals. There is a growing understanding of the  importance of cross-media environmental problems, such as harmful chemicals emitted into the air that settle on the land, wash into lakes,  and are ingested by fish and then by people. Unfortunately, the scientific, software  engineering, and computational challenges of studying and addressing such complicated environmental issues can be daunting.  The MIMS framework is  intended to address some of the software engineering and computational  issues. The framework development is part of a larger MIMS project that also includes development of scientific and modeling approaches.


Currently, MIMS consists of three major components:

  1. The Framework: which is used to connect related models together and run them in the proper sequence according to their data dependencies.
  2. The Analysis Engine: A tool for creating plots and tables in support of both interactive and automated analyses. The analysis engine is packaged as part of the Framework JAR.
  3. The Spatial Allocator: A tool for creating surrogates that are used as inputs to emissions models and performing other types of spatial allocation.

The Framework contains a tool for visualizing and specifying air quality model grids called the Grid Family GUI. Air quality modelers should find this tool to be very useful. The Framework and the Analysis Engine are written in Java and are distributed as a single package. However, each piece can be used independently. The most recent version of the MIMS Java code and distribution is available at http://www.epa.gov/asmdnerl/Multimedia/MIMS/MIMSdownload.html. Separate scripts are included for running the Framework, Analysis Engine, and Grid Family GUI.

A first official release of the analysis engine was made on October 29, 2004. For more information on the analysis engine, see the following documents:

The Spatial Allocator is written in C and is distributed by the Carolina Environmental Program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. The most recent version of the Spatial Allocator code is available at http://www.cep.unc.edu/empd/projects/mims/spatial. A project is underway from October 2004 through June 2005 to implement some upgrades to the Spatial Allocator. After this project is complete, the Spatial Allocator will be able to produce most of the standard 60+ surrogates that are currently used by EPA. It will also be able to do other types of spatial allocation such as grid to county, grid to grid, and aggregation.

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