A computational method (CADD) is presented whereby a continuum region containing dislocation defects is coupled to a fully atomistic region. The model is related to previous hybrid models in which continuum finite elements are coupled to a fully atomistic region, with two key advantages: the ability to accomodate discrete dislocations in the continuum region and an algorithm for automatically detecting dislocations as they move from the atomistic region to the continuum region and then correctly "converting" the atomistic dislocations into discrete dislocations, or vice-versa. The resulting CADD model allows for the study of 2d problems involving large numbers of defects where the system size is too big for fully atomistic simulation, and improves upon existing discrete dislocation techniques by preserving accurate atomistic details of dislocation nucleation and other atomic scale phenomena. Applications to nanoindentation, atomic scale void growth under tensile stress, and fracture are used to validate and demonstrate the capabilities of the model. (C) 2003 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.