The development of interoperable environmental process models is widely supported by both the research community and government agencies. This paper discusses a conceptual framework to guide the delineation of process components, the basic unit of interoperable models. The concepts of semantic reference system and dual hierarchy are explored to establish the conceptual framework. Based on this discussion, the Formal Concept Analysis is used as an analytical approach to decompose and fuse existing environmental process models in order to identify environmental process components. For purposes of discussion, a hydrological process, surface runoff, is used throughout the paper as an example of an environmental process to support the conceptual discussion and to illustrate the application of the conceptual framework and analytical approach.
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