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Title: An integrated, multicriteria, Spatial Decision Support System, incorporating environmental, social and public health perspectives, for use in geoenergy and geoenvironmental applications
Author: Irfan, Muhammad
ISNI:       0000 0004 5347 1674
Awarding Body: Cardiff University
Current Institution: Cardiff University
Date of Award: 2014
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A new Spatial Decision Support System (SDSS) has been designed and developed to address a wide spectrum of semi-structured spatial decision problems. These problems are related to site selection, site ranking and impact assessment. The proposed SDSS is conceptualised as a holistic, informed and impact-based multicriteria decision framework. The system has been developed using the .NET C# programming language and open source geoinformatics technologies such as DotSpatial and SpatiaLite. A combination of existing Multi Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques, with a few novel variations have been developed and incorporated into the SDSS. The site selection module utilises a theme-based Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) and Weighted Linear Combination (WLC). Two site ranking techniques have been introduced in this research. The first technique is based on the systematic neighbourhood comparison of sites with respect to key indicators. The second technique utilises multivariate ordering capability of the one-dimensional Self-Organizing Maps (SOM) to rank the sites. The site impact assessment module utilises a theme-based Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix (RIAM). A spatial variant of the General Regression Neural Networks (GRNN) with a genetic algorithm for optimisation has been developed for the prediction and regression analysis. A number of other spatial knowledge discovery and geovisual-analytics tools have been provided in the system to facilitate spatial decision making process. An application of the SDSS has been presented to investigate the potential of Coalbed Methane (CBM) development in Wales, UK. Most potential sites have been identified by utilising the site selection and site ranking tools of the developed SDSS. An impact assessment has been carried out on the best sites by using Rapid Impact Assessment Matrix. Further analysis has uncovered the spatial variability expected in the potential impacts of the sites, considering key indicators. The application has demonstrated that the developed system can help the decision makers in providing a balanced regime of social, environmental, public health and economic aspects into the decision making process for engineering interventions. The generic nature of the developed system has extended the concept of Spatial Decision Support System to address a range of spatial decision problems, thereby enhancing the effectiveness of the decision making process. The developed system can be considered as a useful modern governance tool, incorporating the key factors into decision making and providing optimal solutions for the critical questions related to energy security and economic future of the region.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: GE Environmental Sciences ; TD Environmental technology. Sanitary engineering