A modular approach to Integrated Assessment modeling
In this paper, we present a new approach to model coupling that probably forms the methodological basis of a new generation of Integrated Assessment models. This approach respects the knowledge and expertise that is embodied in existing models and encourages their gradual evolution. Modularity is the guiding principle. Our approach is distinguished by the way modules are coupled which is based on an interplay of a job control module, a numerical coupling module, and a couple of stand-alone functional modules. The numerical coupling module - the core component - serves to treat the feedbacks between the functional modules. A first implemented example that couples an economic and a climate module by means of a two-phase meta-optimization is presented here. The algorithm and mathematical structure behind are discussed as well as important features such as convergence behavior and reliability.