In certain embodiments, a control/optimization system includes an instantiated model object stored in memory on a model server. The model object includes a model of a plant or process being controlled. The model object comprises an interface that precludes the transmission of proprietary information via the interface. The control/optimization system also includes a decision engine software module stored in memory on a decision support server. The decision engine software module is configured to request information from the model object through a communication network via a communication protocol that precludes the transmission of proprietary information, and to receive the requested information from the model object through the communication network via the communication protocol.