|Re: GUI for new disease model implementation [message #815642 is a reply to message #808243]
|Wed, 07 March 2012 22:26
Registered: July 2009
I think we all agree that creation of new computational models needs to be made easier. Getting to a fully graphical solution is going to be quite complicated, but I think is possible. We need to break it down into smaller steps though.
We've discussed internally how to do this and here's a sketch of how we're planning to approach the problem. Any feedback you have would be helpful!
1. We currently use the Eclipse Modeling Framework's modeled code generation facilities to create the computational (disease/population) model's empty stub. First problem is the generated stub isn't "minimally complete". As you know, the generated code requires manual additions and changes before you can even begin implementing the science. Getting a fully generated stub is step 1 and in progress now.
2. Once you can generate minimally complete code for a disease model from a data model, the next step is to make the creation of the data model easier. We see step 2 as creating an intermediate (more domain-specific) data model for describing the disease model. Initially this will be simple (just the structure, such as disease parameters or the list of compartments) but expandable to include mathematical notations.
3. Once we have our domain-specific data model for describing a computational model, we can begin working on UI tools to make the whole process more user friendly. Again, first step will probably be a simple UI wizard to define the disease model parameters and compartments and generate the code.
4. Step 4 would be a diagramming tool that accepts mathematical notation and allows you to create/edit the science interactively using a UI tool. Perhaps a state diagram editor where the transitions are graphically edited. Step 4(b) is some type of code injection and/or just-in-time compiler to allow interactive changes to the underlying code and immediately run / compare changes in the science.
It'd be great to jump straight to step 4 today because it contains a lot of really interesting software problems and questions. However, we need to get through steps 1-3 to be able to do #4.
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