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Environmental data integration using expert systems


Carter, S and Miller, J and Davies, P and Bouckaert, F and Wilson, M, Environmental data integration using expert systems, Proceedings of Sustainable Engineering Society (SENG) 2013 conference, 18-20 September 2013, Barton, ACT, pp. 294-303. ISBN 9781922107107 (2013) [Refereed Conference Paper]

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Copyright 2013 Engineering Australia

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The Murray Darling Basin Authority’s Sustainable Rivers Audit (SRA) program has developed a novel method for gathering and making sense of environmental and ecological data. Data gathered at a large number of sites according to agreed protocols are normalised to produce "metrics", which compare observed values to estimated values under reference conditions appropriate to each variable. Metrics from different locations are spatially aggregated as required, grouped into ecological themes, and integrated by expert systems to produce condition indicators. The condition indicators for each theme are then integrated into an overall condition index, used to describe the state of river ecosystem health. This is used to communicate audit findings to regulatory authorities, and the public.

This paper describes the SRA data processing method, focusing on the role of expert systems. Key points are how the development of expert systems is facilitated by the use of metrics; by the way in which environmental specialists define what each integration exercise must do; and by the choice of membership functions to simplify defuzzification using the centroid method. The paper concludes by outlining work to apply the SRA principles to develop an sustainability audit method for Lady Elliot Island, in the southern Great Barrier Reef.This paper starts by discussing why the eco-resort chose a hybrid solar power station to transition to renewable energy, and the barriers to change. It then describes the power station, upgrades through to 2013, the power control system, the problems that were solved to realise the potential of a facility operating in a harsh and remote environment, and its performance. The paper concludes by outlining other eco-resort sustainability practices, including education and knowledge-sharing initiatives, and monitoring the island’s environmental and ecological condition.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Conference Paper
Keywords:expert systems, metrics, environmental indicators, sustainability audit
Research Division:Engineering
Research Group:Environmental engineering
Research Field:Environmental engineering not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Other environmental management
Objective Field:Other environmental management not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Carter, S (Dr Steven Carter)
UTAS Author:Davies, P (Professor Peter Davies)
ID Code:88776
Year Published:2013
Deposited By:Mathematics and Physics
Deposited On:2014-02-14
Last Modified:2017-11-06

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