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The University Consortium for Geographic Information Science (UCGIS) called for submission and presentation of trans-disciplinary research challenges in Geographic Information Science in conjunction with their 2016 symposium. The SDS Board submitted a proposal about developing a spatial decision support framework for sustainability (SDSFS).SDSFS integrates, synthesizes, and elucidates among geographic information science (GIScience), decision science, and sustainability science, and thereby addresses a grand challenge that is key to informing a variety of complex societal problems. Each of the above research areas has abundant interdisciplinary applications, but in terms of information science, each has evolved with a distinct ontology (core concepts and their relations) and epistemology (methods that enable information processing). A common framework is meant foster integration of findings for transdisciplinary research and its application to management practice, particularly in relation to decision support that includes vulnerability, risk, resilience and/or sustainability management. The SDSFS would thus act as a transdisciplinary bridge among diverse perspectives about coupled human-natural systems, human-environment relations, hazards-receptor systems, global environmental change and sustainable development, which generally can be referred to as sustainable systems. SDSFS development will take advantage of efforts by the Ontology Platform Workgroup, the Case Study Workgroup, and Workflow Workgroup. SDSFS will be 1) an extension to the ontology platform using an open systems architecture, 2) support cases studies about vulnerability, risk, resilience and sustainability of systems, and 3) evaluated using research about comparative participatory workflow management. A preliminary report on progress is available in the .pdf below.
The purpose of the case study working group is to build up a repository of cases in the SDS Knowledgebase which can then be used for cross-case assessment for a variety of research topics, such as discovering best practice in SDS workflow, including but not limited to geodesign method.
The basic goal of the working group is to evaluate the relative strengths and weaknesses of available open-source workflow engines for their suitability for integration into SDSS frameworks. As described in the next section, specific objectives for evaluating suitability will be developed as a working group activity.
The purpose of the Ontology Platform Working Group is to maintain and improve the technical platform used to maintain the SDS ontology (http://sdsportal.sdsconsortium.org) in order to build and share knowledge about SDS and to demonstrate its practical uses to augment and extend geodesign and other systems.
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