• Reduce text

    Reduce text
  • Restore text size

    Restore text size
  • Increase the text

    Increase the text
  • Print

Monitoring screen of the computer piloting the Phenoarch platform. © INRA, SLAGMULDER Christian

Modelling and agrosystems

RECORD, driving systems modelling

Following four years of development, the Biometry and Artificial Intelligence Research Unit (UR UBIA) in Toulouse launched the RECORD platform in 2011. RECORD (1) aims to build on INRA’s agrosystem modelling resources to design new, custom-made models.

By David Charamel, translated by Daniel McKinnon
Updated on 09/10/2013
Published on 05/30/2013

“The platform was created to meet a need to share a common modelling framework” says Jacques-Eric Bergez, INRA research director and network coordinator for RECORD users. The driving idea behind this project is to build on work across teams and to simplify the modelling process by developing a ready-made toolbox for people to use.

RECORD is a free, open-source software program that can be downloaded and installed on any computer. It can be used to create models, to use the models in the RECORD library, to connect models to databases, and to model simulations.

Creating complex models

RECORD is centred on building block units that enable the user to have a visual representation of their model. The user is able to design complex hierarchical models that take into account all the elements of the agroecosystem, from plant up to landscape, and including features such as agricultural practices and the climate.

Experimenting virtually

RECORD models simulations for variables such as weather, soil, water constraints, and agricultural practices. The results can be applied to calculate a number of agronomic, environmental, and socio-economic indicators and can also be used in many statistical analysis tools.

The simulations are based on dynamic models that offer the possibility of following the agroecosystem’s evolution step by step. This makes RECORD a particularly useful tool for addressing questions of sustainable management of the system. Models developed with RECORD can also be linked to climatology, soil science, and other databases to work with real-life conditions.

To share models with a wider audience of technology users, RECORD is now web-enabled, making it is easier to develop simulations and to recover data.

Promising beginnings

“This tool has enabled us to bring together a community of people interested in agroecosystems” says Hélène Raynal, computer scientist and operations manager for the RECORD team. With around 30 users, RECORD has already been employed in more than 20 projects. The capabilities afforded by this modelling platform have begun to attract new research teams, not only from INRA, but from other technical institutes as well such as CETIOM (2) and Arvalis–Institut du vegetal. With extensive support available to new users, RECORD is set to becoming more accessible across Europe and around the world.

(1) Improving and Coordinating Crop Modelling for Agroecosystem Management.

(2) Technical Centre for Oilseed Crops and Industrial Hemp.

RECORD website

Scientific contact(s):

Associated Division(s):
Science for Action and Development, Applied Mathematics and Informatics, Environment and Agronomy
Associated Centre(s):