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The course “Conceptual Modeling for Decision Support” (Univ. Gothenburg, Sweden) is a web-based course, given the first time in October 2015. This introduction and other supporting documents on the website intend to provide a background for independent work with the five tutorials that comprise the core of this course. The openly accessible website will allow study at any time, but can ideally be combined with the blended-learning course in “Environmental Geology” or with project work at various institutes in the relevant cooperation networks. The introduction below develops both the philosophical and the practical framework for modeling environmental systems. Differences in scale, time and the complexity are necessary to consider when evaluating the parameters within the system, but modeling is also an attempt to simplify in order to understand the net effects of the combined components. Multi-criteria evaluation allows predictive modelling by combining the typically qualitative and quantitative information from multidisciplinary sources. The course structure and tutorials are briefly presented.
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