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HYDROLOGIC MODEL SELECTION IN A DECISION MAKING CONTEXTThe problem of selecting appropriate mathematical models for use in studying hydrological phenomena has created a situation in which the choice of suitable models by hydrologic practitioners has become exceedingly complex. The extensive comments in the literature indicate that neither the traditional system of technical journals nor the more modern computer -based retrieval schemes have really solved the problem. Further examination shows that similar problems have arisen in many fields, hence a well organized attack on the specific problem of hydrologic model choice can have a more general application. The present problem is identified as a requirement to codify and make accessible to users information in a more directly user oriented format. The problem of model choice arises at several levels, ranging from decision on what fundamental structure to use, to choice of parameters, and on to model calibration and validation. This paper is focused on a scheme to aid in model structure choice. The essential ingredients of model structure choice, and indeed of many choice processes, are extracted and embedded in a generalized set theoretic mathematical notational framework in order to give some insight into the nature of the problem. Within this framework the specialized features of the model choice problem are analyzed, and a specialized model is developed for assisting in model choice and all problems similarly situated. These considerations lead to the development of a finite vector of objective statements with codified responses prepared by a panel of qualified researchers who are willing and able to construct the essential information in a user oriented format. It is required that the panel not only couch their information in objective oriented terms but that they also generate value judgments for the individual components. In this way, those using the system can take advantage of the expert opinions embedded in the model while, at the same time, tailoring the choice to meet their own specific needs and aspirations. This results in what is defined as a mathematical CHOICEMODEL. The implementation of a system for interactive computation of the CHOICEMODEL is described in detail, and the associated computer programs are presented in appendices. A detailed instruction manual is given, and the implementation of the method is illustrated by an easily understood model of the ingredients of the problem of selecting an 8 -track stereo tape deck for home use. The plan is outlined whereby hydrologic choice models can be developed within the CHOICEMODEL system by a selected panel of expert EVALUATORs.