How Twitter Improved my Ecological Model

February 26, 2015
By

(This article was first published on R Programming – Thomas Bryce Kelly, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

2015-02-26 16.24.10For a last couple weeks I’ve been working on a marine ecosystem model using a technique called Inverse Modeling(1)I’ll be sure to do a writeup on what Inverse Modeling is and what makes it interesting in the future.; and while there’s been lots of progress, I’m starting to get to the point where the model takes some time to run. As you can imagine, there’s a lot of waiting-around time associated with having a model run for an hour or more at a time. As fate would have it I thought up a pretty fun way to keep updated on the progress of my model during a run cycle today.

I decided that it would be nice if my model would send me a tweet when it finished, and that seemed pretty doable since I know that Twitter has a pretty decent API. So I searched around for a few minutes, setup a new Twitter account, and the system was good to go after no more than ten minutes. And it was awesome! But since it didn’t take long to implement I still had about an hour left.

Thats when I got the idea that it should also send me the compiled results from the last data run. Now this step was a bit more tricky since I needed to  upload the results to my misc directory and then to tweet out a link to said file. While I wont go into details here (I’ll save it for a dedicated post), I used FTP and a 32 bit hash function to avoid collisions along side the Twitter API for this system. I believe that the results speak for themselves.

Now I’m on the lookout for more ways to use this Twitter interface for everyday things.

Notes   [ + ]

1. I’ll be sure to do a writeup on what Inverse Modeling is and what makes it interesting in the future.

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