Through EMDS, decision makers can apply logical models of ideal ecosystem conditions against spatially referenced information and then prioritize the results for a maximum net benefit to the environment based on management constraints and opportunities.
EMDS integrates the logic engine of NetWeaver from Rules of Thumb, Inc. to perform create a logical model and perform various evaluations against it, and the decision modeling engine of Criterium DecisionPlus from InfoHarvest, Inc. for evaluating management priorities to create an application framework for knowledge-based decision support of ecological assessments. Logic processing in EMDS is performed by the NetWeaver engine. Data input to the engine is mediated by the EMDS Project Environment and ArcMap.
Logic models (knowledge bases) that describe logical relations among ecosystem states and processes are created in NetWeaver Developer. NetWeaver readily supports design of knowledge bases for the types of large, complex, and abstract problems typically posed by ecosystem management. Priority Analyst is a dynamic MCDA tool that extends the functionality of EMDS to include integrated planning. The Priority Analyst can be used for priority setting, resource allocation, and trade-off analysis once a particular analysis has been completed in EMDS. The process of MCDA involves ranking alternative actions based on how well each rates against a set of decision criteria. Priority Analyst includes a variety of diagnostic tools that help developers, users, and the general public, understand the basis for planning priorities.