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Binding environmental sciences and artificial intelligence in environmental modelling & software

Reference Type: 

Journal Article

Cortés, Ulises, Miquel Sànchez-Marrè, Franz Wotawa, and Ignasi Rodriguez-Roda. 1999. “Binding environmental sciences and artificial intelligence in environmental modelling & software.” Environmental Modelling & SoftWare 174.

Environmental Modelling & SoftWare 14 (1999) 335–337
Binding Environmental Sciences and Artificial Intelligence InEnvironmental Modelling & Software
Ulises Corte´s * and Miquel Sa`nchez-Marre`
Software Department, Technical University of Catalonia (UPC), Jordi Girona 1–3, E-08034 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
1. Preamble
We are pleased to introduce a selection of the paperspresented at the ECAI’98 Workshop on
Binding Environmental Sciences and Artificial Intelligence(BESAI)
(Corte´s & Sa`nchez-Marre`, 1998) [3]. TheBESAI workshop has its roots in the IJCAI’95
Workshopon Artificial Intelligence and the Environment
(Mason,1995) that is, to our best knowledge, the only initiativeof its kind in the framework of a big Artificial Intelli-gence Conference. That IJCAI workshop was organisedat that time by some members of the Artificial Intelli-gence Research In Environmental Sciences group(
) [1] and they are still running a series of work-shops.This academic interest (see [1], [3], and [7]) corre-sponds to growing environmental concern, industries(
the ISO14001, the European standard EMAS, [2],
) and in politics (
Kyoto summit or Rio do Janeirodeclaration). The survival of the human species and ourquality of life depends upon our ability to manage andsustain the earth’s natural resources. Therefore new toolsfor solving old problems in a new and effective way aremore and more welcome.As pointed out by several authors, the environment isa complex and dynamic system: different aspects canlead to the same impact (
the emission of globalwarming gases), while other aspects might combine syn-ergistically to create an impact which is much greaterthan that which would be predicted using a reductionistapproach (
the emission of solvents and nitrogenoxides that can react in the atmosphere to producesmog). Thus, further analysis is required to assess the likely impacts that the significant aspects will have (Hartet al., 1998).Artificial Intelligence can help, in our view, to achievethese objectives providing efficient solutions to complexproblems involving both quantitative and qualitativeaspects. BESAI’98 was in our opinion a good startingpoint to bring together scientists from a broad spectrumapplying AI techniques and from other areas to help eachother to solve problems in a hot and sensitive area asEnvironmental Sciences are. The papers included heregive a good taste of the actual directions in the researchof this area.Environmental Studies and Artificial Intelligence areboth of strategic interest. Both areas can provide societywith solutions for many real applications, in order to useand protect the environment. Human activities implyintervention into nature, but properly managed, theseinterventions can be not only ecologically sound but alsofavourable to the continued growth of civilisation. Theencounter between these fields is a new challenge formany researchers of both communities.

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