How To Use VADER

VADER was designed to be invoked within a model’s implementations of the oops::VariableChange and oops::LinearVariableChange interface classes (the classes specified in the model’s TRAITS file). Note that VADER does not replace these classes, instead it is called from these classes as a helper.

The methods used to invoke VADER’s functionality correspond to the methods with the same name in these two OOPS interface classes. So, VADER’s changeVar method should be called within the model’s VariableChange class’s changeVar method. In the model’s LinearVariableChange interface class, VADER’s changeVarTraj, changeVarTL, and changeVarAD methods should be called inside the interface methods of the same name.

In order to pass model fields to and from VADER, Fields and FieldSets from Atlas are used. (This is similar to the interface models use with SABER repository methods.) The methods toFieldSet and fromFieldSet, which are defined in the OOPS State and Increment interfaces, are used to convert the model State/Increment to and from an Atlas FieldSet.

When a model calls Vader’s changeVar method, passing the input/output Fieldset and the list of desired output variables, Vader’s algorithm will analyze how it can produce the maximum number of the requested output variables, given the inputs it was provided and the variable-change algorithms (usually called “recipes”) that it currently has at its disposal. In some cases, VADER will not have all the recipes required to produce all the desired variables. Consequently, the model may still need some of its own, model-specific, variable change code to finish the work that VADER cannot do. VADER’s methods report back which variables VADER was able to produce, and the model’s code must use this information to know which variable changes it still needs to do.

  • Workflow to call Vader’s changeVar method


For detailed, up-to-date examples of how to call VADER’s methods, please see the fv3-jedi code:

For detailed, up-to-date descriptions of the parameters and return values for these VADER methods, please see the doxygen header block comments above the methods in the vader source code.

VADER’s “Cookbook”

An important concept to understand in order to use VADER is its cookbook. As mentioned earlier, the individual variable change algorithms that VADER can use are coded into classes called recipes. Each recipe produces one and only one variable. (The code for all the recipes is here.) When changeVar or changeVarTraj is called, VADER uses its recipe-search algorithm on only the recipes that are in the cookbook in order to attempt to create as many of the desired variables as possible. Models can define which recipes are in VADER’s cookbook by passing the cookbook via an eckit::LocalConfiguration when VADER is constructed. If no cookbook is passed to the constructor, VADER will use a default cookbook. Since the default cookbook will get updated as new recipes are created, the advanatage of passing the cookbook as a parameter when VADER is constructed is that VADER’s behavior is less likely to change at an unexpected time.

VADER’s Configuration Variables

Certain recipes require values, other than the ingredients, that must be provided by the model. For instance, the model’s air pressure at the model top is required for some pressure-related recipes. When a recipe is executed it will generate an error if a needed value has not been provided to VADER. These values are passed to the VADER constructor via an eckit::LocalConfiguration object. (See the fv3-jedi code for an example of how to populate these values.) These values have been documented for the recipes which require them. If a recipe does not get used it is not necessary to populate these values.