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Computer Models A group of researchers at Microsoft hopes to transform the way scientists study complex, ever-changing systems, such as the global carbon cycle and information processing inside cells. To do so, they're working to develop a suite of new software tools including novel programming languages that better represent biological systems and computer models that work across multiple scales, simulating carbon budgets at the levels of leaves, trees, and forests, for example. They're also striving to make those tools simple to use, thereby extending the types of studies that can be done by researchers who aren't full-time programmers. Prototype versions of several of these tools are now up and running and being put through their paces by researchers at Microsoft.
Why do we need new tools? Society urgently requires accurate predictions of how the living systems of the earth might respond to natural and anthropogenic drivers of change. Unfortunately the models needed to make such predictions don’t currently exist. This is partly because we lack suitable methods and frameworks with which to rigorously research, test and implement predictive models of ecological systems (and partly because we lack sufficient understanding of how such systems function). We therefore aim to provide new technologies and methods (both hardware and software) to help address the key scientific challenges facing ecology and environmental science. What are the tools that we provide?
First published Fri Dec 23, 2005 The science of ecology studies interactions between individual organisms and their environments, including interactions with both conspecifics and members of other species. Though ecology emerged in the 19th century much of its theoretical structure only emerged in the twentieth century.
Catastrophe theory was very fashionable in 70-s and 80-s. Rene Thom was one of its spiritual leaders. This theory originated from qualitative solution of differential equations and it has nothing in common with Apocalypse or UFO. Catastrophe means the loss of stability in a dynamic system.
In general, overcolonization is the phenomenon of a certain species occupying territories already being occupied by other species. In the case of preemptive competition there is no interaction between the species; they can occupy only empty patches. In the case of hierarchical relationship, species 1 can occupy both empty patches and those that are occupied by species 2. Species 2 can colonize only empty patches. In general cases of overcolonization both species can colonize both empty and occupied patches. In our model, these cases are represented as follows: