Publication Details

Category Text Publication
Reference Category Journals
DOI 10.1111/oik.02170
Document Shareable Link
Title (Primary) Replicating and breaking models: good for you and good for ecology
Author Thiele, J.C.; Grimm, V.
Source Titel Oikos
Year 2015
Department OESA
Volume 124
Issue 6
Page From 691
Page To 696
Language englisch
UFZ wide themes RU5;
Abstract There are two major limitations to the potential of computational models in ecology for producing general insights: their design is path-dependent, reflecting different underlying questions, assumptions, and data, and there is too little robustness analysis exploring where the model mechanisms explaining certain observations break down. We here argue that both limitations could be overcome if modellers in ecology would more often replicate existing models, try to break the models, and explore modifications. Replication comprises the re-implementation of an existing model and the replication of its results. Breaking models means to identify under what conditions the mechanisms represented in a model can no longer explain observed phenomena. The benefits of replication include less effort being spent to enter the iterative stage of model development and having more time for systematic robustness analysis. A culture of replication would lead to increased credibility, coherence, and efficiency of computational modelling and thereby facilitate theory development.
Persistent UFZ Identifier
Thiele, J.C., Grimm, V. (2015):
Replicating and breaking models: good for you and good for ecology
Oikos 124 (6), 691 - 696 10.1111/oik.02170