Feb 12th - Feb 19th 2016

1st Modelling For Sustainability Workshop @ Bellairs

The 1st 1-Week Modelling For Sustainability Workshop at the Bellairs Research Institute of McGill University in Holetown, Barbados is taking place from Friday February 12th 2016 to Friday February 19th 2016. Traditionally, the Bellairs workshops have mainly attracted researchers from the MODELS community, but this year we are planning to incorporate all fields and disciplines related to sustainability. In essence, we want to gather researchers and practitioners that are interested in modelling sustainability, modelling of sustainable systems, and in using models to make sustainability-aware choices.

Workshop Details

Various disciplines use models for different purposes. While engineering models, including software engineering models, are often developed to guide the construction of a non-existent system, scientific models, in contrast, are created to better understand a natural phenomenon (i.e., an already existing system). An engineering model may incorporate scientific models to build a system.

Both engineering and scientific models have been used to support sustainability, but largely in a loosely-coupled fashion, independently developed and maintained from each other. On one side of the spectrum, modelling has been used to develop sustainable systems, i.e., (computerized) systems with a low environmental impact (green computing, sustainable software engineering). On the other side of the spectrum, models are being extensively used in systems that support sustainable development, i.e., development without a negative global impact. Example of such sustainability systems include smart grids, smart cities and homes, and other computer-based systems used for resource production, coordination, and management.

Due to the inherent complex nature of sustainability that must balance trade-offs between social, environmental, and economic concerns, modelling challenges and model integration challenges abound for both the scientific and engineering disciplines. We are thinking of using a case study to focus the workshop on something more concrete and to allow us to create actual models. Options being considered are (a) a smart city project related to transportation, (b) an electric vehicles project, and (c) a project related to sustainable agriculture.

We are planning to invite a group of ~20 researchers (composed of senior and junior faculty, postdocs and students) whose expertise covers the areas mentioned above. The current list of researchers we sent invitations to can be found here.

The workshop schedule is not set in stone yet, i.e., the activities that are going to take place depend on the expertise, expectations and motivation of the participants. Typically, after initial brainstorming and group discussions, breakout groups will apply sustainability modelling techniques and ideas to concrete examples, and then present their results to the others at regular intervals for feedback. The aim for the week is to produce some high-quality models / examples illustrating the potential benefits of modelling for sustainability, and to collaboratively write one or more papers that report on the insights we gained.

Previous Bellairs Workshops

Use the navigation menu above to get more information on Bellairs and on the current list of invited participants / participants that accepted the invitation. You can also look at the 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 and 2009 editions of the Bellairs modelling workshop.

Last modified: November 23, 2015, Jörg Kienzle