Bo Weidema edited this page Mar 3, 2018 · 60 revisions

BONSAI network description
The BONSAI wiki and its contents
Main distinguishing features of BONSAI

BONSAI - Big Open Network for Sustainability Assessment Information - network description

The BONSAI wiki

The BONSAI wiki is an evolving document updated by the developers community and it is therefore the result of a collective effort. It contains a draft description of work packages and tasks, aiming at developing a clear definition of their:

  • Functional specifications: a description of the specific functions that a component must perform. The purposes is to achieve a team consensus on what the program is to achieve before moving to more time-consuming effort of writing source code.

  • Technical specifications: a description of the technical requirements to fulfil the function defined by the functional specification, e.g.: software to be used, inputs that can be provided to the software system and how the system responds to those inputs. The purpose is to facilitate the harmonisation of different components and avoid errors due to lack of compatibility and interoperability issues.

The wiki is therefore used to:

  • identify existing and missing components of the database system, and define and organise tasks;
  • communicate development issues to the BONSAI developer community;
  • keep the community constantly aligned and updated on ongoing projects;
  • provide descriptions and links to relevant existing software code and data.

When possible, tasks should be given a priority level according to the following scale: Required for Beta Version = High; Required for widespread public use = Intermediate; General nice-to-have = Low.

The aim of the BONSAI network is to make reliable, unbiased sustainability information on products – “product footprints” – readily and freely available whenever and wherever it is needed to support product comparisons and decisions.

BONSAI is a not-for-profit organization, with the objective to maintain open access data and open source software and algorithms to produce “product footprints”.

The pictures below draft the BONSAI flow diagram according to potential working groups. Additional descriptions are provided for each Working Groups in the following wiki-pages.

Simplified structure of the BONSAI database. See Glossary for definitions

Visit BONSAI website for a more exhaustive description of the BONSAI vision, organisation and strategy.

Contents of the wiki

The following pages are dedicated to the fundamental tasks for the completion of the BONSAI Beta version, a future complete version to be used for testing purposes:

Some of the Core Database Architecture tasks correspond to Working Groups and the respective Work Packages. In this case, the task description is in the Work Package. The Working Groups are distributed over 3 action areas:

Harvest data work packages:
Input Output Framework
Big Data harvesting
Data Provider Interface

Ensure data quality work packages:
Global Impact Assessment
Data review

Make data usable work packages:
Product System Algorithms
Data Access
User Communities

Main distinguishing features of BONSAI

Compared to existing databases and software to produce product footprints, the BONSAI project is distinguished by:

  • Being based on open data and open code;
  • Having a low barrier to data entry supported by an open data review process;
  • Completeness of data, obtained by integrating Multiregional Input Output (MRIO) and detailed process-based data;
  • Flexible addition and editing at the level of single data triples;
  • The natural language query interface for final product footprints;
  • Transparency of the underlying data and routines;
  • The modular approach to software design.
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