Harmonization and translation of crop modeling data to ensure interoperability

Porter, C.; Villalobos, C.; Holzworth, D.; Nelson, R.; White, J.W.; Athanasiadis, I.N.; Janssen, S.J.C.; Ripoche, D.; Cufi, J.; Raes, D.; Zhang, M.; Knapen, M.J.R.; Sahajpal, R.; Boote, K.; Jones, J.W.


The Agricultural Model Intercomparison and Improvement Project (AgMIP) seeks to improve the capability of ecophysiological and economic models to describe the potential impacts of climate change on agricultural systems. AgMIP protocols emphasize the use of multiple models; consequently, data harmonization is essential. This interoperability was achieved by establishing a data exchange mechanism with variables defined in accordance with international standards; implementing a flexibly structured data schema to store experimental data; and designing a method to fill gaps in model-required input data. Researchers and modelers are able to use these tools to run an ensemble of models on a single, harmonized dataset. This allows them to compare models directly, leading ultimately to model improvements. An important outcome is the development of a platform that facilitates researcher collaboration from many organizations, across many countries. This would have been very difficult to achieve without the AgMIP data interoperability standards described in this paper.