Physical Oceanography, Vol. 19, No. 5, 2009
MATHEMATICAL MODELING OF MARINE SYSTEMS
OBJECT–BASED MODELING OF THE COASTAL MARINE ECOSYSTEM
E. F. Vasechkina and V. D. Yarin
We consider a procedure of modeling of marine ecosystems combining the object-based model-
ing with traditional methods. The proposed procedure belongs to the junction of several different
fields of science. To illustrate this procedure, we present the description of a chemicobiological
object-based model of the plankton community of the shallow-water part of the northwest shelf
of the Black Sea and some results obtained with the help of this model. The model includes the
description of the life cycle of copepods (one of the most widespread and numerous groups of
zooplankton. The comparative analysis of the numerical experiments performed under various
environmental conditions is realized.
The object-based modeling (OBM) is a relatively new but quite promising direction of investigations of
complex biological systems. First, the technologies of OBM were developed in the fields of modeling if artifici-
al life and artificial intelligence. The first attempts to apply the object-based approach to the construction of
simulating models of biological systems were performed at the end of the 1980s [1–4]. These investigations led
to the conclusion that the complex behavior of biological systems formed by numerous components can be a
consequence of simple interactions between the individual components and, hence, should be modeled and stu-
died by formulating simple rules applicable to families of relatively simple objects. The first works in this direc-
tion were devoted to the simulation of the dynamics of populations of various species of insects and bacteria [4–
6]. Then the same methods were used for the construction of models of social and economic processes [7–9].
As applied to the object-based modeling of living systems, it is possible to distinguish three main trends,
namely, modeling based on cellular automata, individual-based modeling, and agent-based modeling . The
common feature of all these approaches is that the dynamics of systems is modeled from the lower level to the
upper level, i.e., from micro- to macroscales, from the smallest and simplest components to the complex behav-
ior on the level of population or community. The object-based models deal with numerous objects for which the
formalized rules of their behavior in time are determined by the properties and methods depending on the nature
of a specific object. The numerical calculations give a general picture of the dynamics of the entire system. In
analyzing the results and checking the degree of adequacy of the model to the actual processes, it is necessary to
compute some integral characteristics accepted in the corresponding field of investigations. The distinctions be-
tween the indicated approaches to object-based modeling are reduced to the difference between the types of ob-
jects used in the models. In the individual-based models (IBM), the role of the object of modeling is played by
individual organisms. The vital activity of these objects is realized in the environment in the process of uninter-
rupted interaction with it, by consuming its resources, changing its characteristics, and adapting their own pro-
perties to the variable environmental conditions. In these models, the population dynamics is regarded as a result
of numerous local interactions between the organisms.
Marine Hydrophysical Institute, Ukrainian Academy of Sciences, Sevastopol, Ukraine.
Translated from Morskoi Gidrofizicheskii Zhurnal, No.
53–78, September–October, 2009. Original article submitted April 22,
2008; revision submitted July 21, 2008.
0928-5105/09/1905–0315 © 2009 Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 315