Submitted as: model description paper 11 Dec 2020

Submitted as: model description paper | 11 Dec 2020

Review status: a revised version of this preprint is currently under review for the journal GMD.

Inishell 2.0: Semantically driven automatic GUI generation for scientific models

Mathias Bavay1, Michael Reisecker1,3, Thomas Egger2, and Daniela Korhammer1 Mathias Bavay et al.
  • 1WSL Institute for Snow and Avalanche Research SLF, Flüelastrasse 11, CH-7260 Davos Dorf, Switzerland
  • 2Egger Consulting GmbH, Hohenstaufengasse 7, 1010 Wien, Austria
  • 3Alpine Software Michael Reisecker, Schiliftstraße 504, 5753 Saalbach, Austria

Abstract. As numerical model developers, we have experienced first hand how most users struggle with the configuration of the models, leading to numerous support requests. Such issues are usually mitigated by offering a Graphical User Interface (GUI) that flattens the learning curve. This requires however a significant investment for the model developer as well as a specific skill set. Moreover, this does not fit with the daily duties of model developers. As a consequence, when a GUI has been created, usually within a specific project and often relying on an intern, the maintenance either constitutes a major burden or is not performed. This also tends to limit the evolution of the numerical models themselves, since the model developers try to avoid having to change the GUI.

In this paper we describe an approach based on an XML description of the required numerical model configuration elements and a C++/Qt tool (Inishell) that creates a GUI based on this description on the fly. This makes maintenance of the GUI very simple and enables users to easily get an up-to-date GUI for configuring the numerical model. The first version of this tool was written almost ten years ago and showed that the concept works very well for our own surface processes models. A full rewrite offering a more modern interface and extended capabilities is presented in this paper.

Mathias Bavay et al.

Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
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Mathias Bavay et al.

Model code and software

Inishell-2.0.4 Mathias Bavay

Mathias Bavay et al.


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