Interactive modeling of environmental impacts

Fedra, K. (1990). Interactive modeling of environmental impacts. In: IFAC Symposia Series - Proceedings of a Triennial World Congress. pp. 521-527 Tallinn, USSR: IFAC.

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Human activities, and in particular large scale industrial, energy, construction, water resources, or agricultural projects considerably affect the natural environment. Concern about these impacts and their immediate as well as long-term consequences makes the prediction and analysis of environmental impacts an important field of research. Among the most important tools for the prediction and analysis of these environmental impacts are various types of models. Numerical or symbolic simulation models implemented on computers, provide powerful and versatile tools for the assessment of potential environmental impacts for complex dynamic and spatially distributed systems. Designed to describe and simulate future impacts that are obviously not yet observable, models can also operate in data-poor situations, analyzing scenarios of sets of plausible assumptions. To assist in such numerical experimentation, models are built into interactive frameworks, coupled to various data bases that provide input data and parameter information, pre- and post-processors that help to design plausible and consistent simulation experiments and analyze them. Visualization of dynamic and spatially distributed processes in the form of animated computer graphics, and immediate response to what-if questions in a dialog-oriented interface are important elements of effective simulation modeling. In data-poor situations, models are useful for stimulating insight and intuitive understanding of complex patterns rather than providing exact answers. Insight into environmental relationships is supported by directly understandable, symbolic and graphical ways of presenting model results and, in general, by a conversational, interactive and symbolic approach to simulation modeling. The use of models, and in particular, of interactive simulation and optimization models that combine traditional modeling approaches with new techniques of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and dynamic computer graphics, is demonstrated by a number of application examples in air, surface and groundwater modeling as well as environmental risk analysis. Drawing on a wide range of application examples in air quality simulation, surface and groundwater modeling, and general environmental impact assessment, the paper discusses some general features and emerging trends in simulation modeling in environmental impact analysis.

Item Type: Book Section
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2016 09:49
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:41

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