ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services)


ARIES (ARtificial Intelligence for Ecosystem Services) is a networked collaborative software technology designed for rapid ecosystem service assessment and valuation. It gives equal emphasis to ecosystem service supply, demand and flow in order to quantify actual service provision and use by society (as opposed to quantifying potential service benefits). It aims to provide a suite of models that support science-based decision-making. 

Currently, ARIES prototypes are available for use in specific case study areas by experienced modellers, however a new web-based ARIES Explorer (k.Explorer) aims to allow non-technical users to employ the tool by 2018.


Spreadsheets, databases (e.g. Access), maps (global maps are available by default online) or GIS databases


Quantitative data on ecosystem services
Environmental asset portfolio
Local scale
Landscape scale
Regional scale
National scale
Cost of the tool (and guidance): 
Open access (free)
A range of land uses.
Resource requirement (software): 
Standalone k.Lab software tool environment. ARIES Explorer (k.Explorer) will run from a web-based platform.
Level of technical expertise required: 
Technical / GIS / modelling skills (training advised)
Types of ecosystem service included: 
Habitat type (UK NEA habitats): 
Mountains, moors and heaths
Semi-natural grasslands
Enclosed farmland
Freshwater, wetlands and floodplains
Coastal margins
How does it work?: 

ARIES uses artificial intelligence to pair ES models with spatial data in order to quantify ES flows for a study area. The software will prioritize specific process-based models and revert to simpler models where required. It is based on k.LAB [71] technology which allows researchers to contribute models and scientific data that simulate and integrate environmental and socioeconomic systems.  Collaborative information is hosted on a network and when provided with a user query, ARIES automatically builds all the agents involved in the nature/society interaction, connects them into a flow network and creates the best models for each agent and connection.   The system to be analysed is defined by selecting a bounding box on the map and setting the resolution and temporal coordinates. This allows for a detailed and dynamic assessment of how nature provides benefits to people.  It specifically assesses carbon sequestration, river and coastal flood regulation, freshwater supply, sediment regulation, fisheries, recreation, aesthetic viewsheds, and open-space proximity values.  ARIES prototypes are currently available for experienced modellers (training is recommended), however a web-based ARIES Explorer (k.Explorer) will allow non-technical users to use the tool by 2018. 

Where can I get it?:


For references e.g. [01] see the reference list