Garp3 — Workbench for qualitative modelling and simulation

B. Bredeweg, F. Linnebank, A. Bouwer, J. Liem

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

63 Citations (Scopus)


Easy to use workbenches for Qualitative Reasoning and modelling have been virtually nonexistent. This has a limiting effect on the use of this Artificial Intelligence technology and its uptake by a larger audience. We present Garp3, a user-friendly workbench that allows modellers to build, simulate, and inspect qualitative models of system behaviour. The workbench employs diagrammatic representations for users to interact with model content and simulation results, and provides seamless interoperability between the different modes of use. Domain experts can use Garp3 to create conceptual models in situations where numerical information is sparse or unavailable, or when they want to formalise their conceptual understanding of how systems behave. Garp3 can be applied to stakeholder management or dissemination activities to illustrate and explain phenomena, and facilitate discussion among participants. The workbench can also be used in formal education to have learners express concepts, or interact with existing models, and support them in developing their understanding of ‘how things work’.Garp3 incorporates a range of techniques from Artificial Intelligence known as knowledge-based techniques. The main goal of this paper is to present the representation and reasoning methods of these techniques as they have been developed and fine-tuned within the Garp3 workbench. The focus hereby is on the symbolic, non-numerical calculations that are required to generate the state-graph of a system's behaviour efficiently, while taking into account that users need to be able to track and understand this reasoning, both in terms of the end result and the intermediate results it delivers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)263-281
Number of pages19
JournalEcological Informatics
Issue number5-6
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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