- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Over the past 30 years most climate models have grown from relatively simple representations of a few atmospheric processes to a complex multi-disciplinary system. Computer infrastructure over that period has gone from punch card mainframes to modem parallel clusters. Model implementations have become complex, brittle, and increasingly difficult to extend and maintain. Existing verification processes for model implementations rely almost exclusively upon some combination of detailed analysis of output from full climate simulations and system-level regression tests. In additional to being quite costly in terms of developer time and computing resources, these testing methodologies are limited in terms of the types of defects that can be detected, isolated and diagnosed. Mitigating these weaknesses of coarse-grained testing with finer-grained "unit" tests has been perceived as cumbersome and counter-productive. In the commercial software sector, recent advances in tools and methodology have led to a renaissance for systematic fine-grained testing. We discuss the availability of analogous tools for scientific software and examine benefits that similar testing methodologies could bring to climate modeling software. We describe the unique challenges faced when testing complex numerical algorithms and suggest techniques to minimize and/or eliminate the difficulties.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20110015506.
- Copyright, Distribution as joint owner in the copyright.
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