Models Methods Software

Dan Hughes

Chaos Part 1: A Long Time Coming

This work is taking longer than I expected; my experience has been that research is like that.

Plus, writing documentation sufficient for independent verification is hard, because writing is hard. Writing lots of information takes lots of time.

Plus, the moto riding season is here.

Plus vacation time is here.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | | Leave a comment

Editorial Policies of Scientific Journals

The recent results of an Independent Verification of a calculation at Climate Audit and discussed here brings me to mention the editorial policies of scientific journals relative to Verification, Validation, Software Quality Assurance, and Qualfications of models, methods, software, calculations, users, and applications. I have posted comments about the issues relative to publication of peer-reviewed papers on several blogs and given more detailed discussion here.

According to the results of a very unscientific survey by me, the scientific journals have no interest in these very important issues. Many engineering journals, however, have addressed the problems and developed editorial appropriate policies which must be met by authors.

A little over two years ago I wrote letters to the editors of several scientific journals in which the climate change community publishes papers. I have uploaded an example of the letter.

I think it’s time to followup on that letter, for a second time. Continue reading

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Verification | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Coding Guidelines and Inline Documentation: GISS ModelE

Here’s an example of what a lack on coding guidelines (or ignoring them) can lead to. From the NASA/GISS ModelE online source code browser:

!@sum SURFCE calculates the surface fluxes which include
!@+ sensible heat, evaporation, thermal radiation, and momentum
!@+ drag. It also calculates instantaneous surface temperature,
!@+ surface specific humidity, and surface wind components.
!@auth Nobody will claim responsibilty

This is the entire header information for a 1228-line routine.

The last line says it all.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Verify the Calculation: An Example

The calculation requires Independent Verification. The calculation includes the coding, the data provided to the code at run time, built in options chosen by the user at run time, and the qualifications of the user.

An excellent example has been provided by the work over on Climate Audit. The results of the excellent work by Climate Audit is being discussed at Climate Science.

The example started with this, which led to this, and leading finally to this.

An excellent piece of Independent Verification accomplished without the benefit of source coding, and actually without any publicly available equations whatsoever. Exactly why the equations and codes are kept secret from the people who paid for them is another very significant issue. Keeping models, methods, procedures, and associated source code secret is not a part of the accepted scientific method.

August 9, 2007 Posted by | Calculation Verification, Verification | , , | 1 Comment