- The MERLIN modelling framework is designed as illustrated in the following picture:
- The databases (SADB = Stock-Activity Database and MDB = Measure Database) comprise the information necessary to calculate emissions for all relevant sources (air pollutants and greenhouse gases [GHGs]) and thus changes in emissions due to the implementation of measures and strategies.
- Using a Web-bases scenario tool, it is possible to adjust scenarios and create the data basis on which the optimisation tools are run, respectively allows to conduct case studies for individual measures, sectors, countries or pollutants on a manual basis (CBA, CEA, what-if-calculations for air quality and GHG emissions control)
- The design of the OMEGA optimisation model is sketched in the following graph:
- With the core optimisation based on genetic algorithms (GAs, or known as Evolutionary Algorithms, EAs), the model can be run in either CEA or CBA mode, the first allowing calculations to find least-cost solutions for specified combined AQ and GHG targets, the second using a module for the monetary evaluation of avoided damage costs based upon the EcoSense model and ExternE work.
- For the evaluation of macro-economic and distributional effects, additional modules are currently being developed based on established GE model environments and socio-economic GIS.