Title: Patterns in software design
Citation: LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY vol. 34 no. 9 p. 2083-2089
Publisher: SPRINGER
Publication Year: 2019
JRC N°: JRC116103
ISSN: 0921-2973 (online)
URI: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10980-019-00797-9
DOI: 10.1007/s10980-019-00797-9
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: In the past 30 years I have worked in various agencies conducting research and developing software in application fields dealing with radiative transfer modelling in the ocean, atmosphere, and vegetation; meteorology; atmospheric chemistry; marine oil spill and fish stock monitoring; cancer risk assessment; satellite sensor design and extraction and assessment of environmental information from remote sensing data. What I have learned from these various assignments is that the process of acquiring knowledge is the result of pattern recognition and pattern analysis. Every time we are introduced to a new application field we are confronted with new terminologies, topics, concepts and ways of thinking. Our first and natural instinct is trying to understand the new system by ‘bringing order into the chaos’, meaning that we try to detect structures driving that system. Pattern recognition can be seen as the cognitive process of delineating the underlying governing rules while pattern analysis is based on the application of these rules in a specific context. In this sense, pattern recognition and pattern analysis are of generic nature, of fundamental importance in any learning process leading to knowledge generation in any domain. In the context of this special edition on landscape pattern I will outline a more generic conceptual view of pattern exemplified to software design. My goal is to improve the outreach and impact of software in landscape ecology. At some risk of generalization, the readers of this journal can be categorized into three groups: 1) software developers who work in ecology at least sometimes, 2) ecologists who also write software at least sometimes, 3) landscape ecology researchers, planners, and other stakeholders who use software. Writing from the perspective of a member of group 1, my intended audience is the members of group 3 who aspire to become more involved in group 2. Most landscape ecologists are trained to develop or adapt software to solve their own specific problems, but many may also appreciate some insights and practical advice from a software developer’s point of view.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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