Title: Uncertainty propagation in chained web based modelling services: the case of eHabitat
Citation: Innovation in sharing environmental observations and information. Proceedings of EnviroInfo 2011, 25th International Conference Environmental Informatics vol. 1 p. 46-58
Publisher: Shaker Verlag
Publication Year: 2011
JRC N°: JRC66162
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC66162
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: eHabitat is a Web Processing Service (WPS) designed to compute the likelihood of finding ecosystems with similar conditions. Starting from a reference area, typically a protected area, one can compute for each pixel of a region of interest the probability to find a combination of a set of predefined environmental indicators that is similar to the one observed in the reference area using the Mahalanobis distances to the mean and covariance of these indicators. Inputs to the WPS are thus the reference polygon and a set of environmental indicators, typically thematic geospatial “layers”, which can be discovered using standardised catalogues. The outputs can be tailored to specific end user needs in terms of data format and data resolution. Because these input layers can range from geophysical data captured through remote sensing to socio-economical indicators, eHabitat is exposed to a broad range of different types and levels of uncertainties which are inevitably propagated through the service (see e.g. Heuvelink, 1998). Potentially chained to other services to perform ecological forecasting, for example, eHabitat would be an additional component further propagating uncertainties from a potentially long chain of model services. Such a configuration of distributed data and model services as envisaged by initiatives such as the “Model Web” from the Group on Earth Observations, to be of any use to policy or decision makers, requires from users clear information on data uncertainties. The development of such an Uncertainty-Enabled Model Web is the scope of the UncertWEB project which is promoting interoperability between data and models with quantified uncertainty and building a framework on existing open, international standards. It is the objective of this paper to illustrate a few key ideas behind UncertWeb using eHabitat to discuss the main types of uncertainties the WPS has to deal with and to present the benefits of the use of the UncertWeb framework.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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