Topic 16: Integrated Problem Solving Environments
Problem Solving Environments (PSEs) can be defined as integrated computing environments for developing, executing and analysing applications in a specific domain. They provide a set of user-friendly mechanisms and tools that allow to “compose” an application, by gluing together, using some kind of problem-oriented language, different building blocks. Such building blocks range from libraries and application codes, to tools for I/O, data visualization and analysis, and interactive steering. PSEs may also incorporate some form of knowledge, in order to assist the users in formulating, solving and analysing their problems. The main motivation for developing PSEs is that they enable to build applications without dealing with most of the details related to hardware and software architectures, to solution algorithms and their implementations, and to analysis and monitoring tools, thus allowing end-users to concentrate on the application problems to be solved. PSEs can be used for different purposes, such as modelling and simulation, design optimisation, rapid prototyping, and decision support.