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OASIS: A GEOGRAPHICAL DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR GROUND-WATER CONTAMINANT MODELING
Newell, C. J. AND P. B. Bedient. OASIS: A GEOGRAPHICAL DECISION SUPPORT SYSTEM FOR GROUND-WATER CONTAMINANT MODELING. GROUND WATER 28(2):224-234, (1990).
Three new software technologies were applied to develop an efficient and easy to use decision support system for ground-water contaminant modeling. Graphical interfaces create a more intuitive and effective form of communication with the computer compared to text-based interfaces. Concepts from the field of hypertext were applied to design the extensive electronic documentation and databases. Finally, object oriented programming permitted scientists with little programming experience to develop the system by manipulating preexisting software objects instead of writing computer code, greatly increasing the productivity of the project team. A decision support system is a class of software with different origins and characteristics than conventional programs or expert systems. Decision support systems are designed to help users with broad, semistructured problems, with the user directing the problem-solving process. The decision support software described in this paper, the OASIS system, provides ground-water modelers with a ground-water biodegradation model, model documentation, background information, data from chemical and hydrogeologic databases, and data management tools. The system was developed using HyperCard software on a Macintosh personal computer. It currently has over 1700 different computer screens of information and occupies approximately 10 megabytes of hard disk storage. OASIS is a new type of modeling software where ground-water models, data, and knowledge are integrated together using a graphical interface and an easily modified software architecture. Two groups of users can benefit from the system: current modelers who need more efficient interfaces and data management tools, and people who are not using models now because the modeling process is too involved and requires specialized knowledge.
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