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Fault Tree Analysis and Fuzzy Expert Systems Early Warning and Emergency Response of Landfill Operations

Fault Tree Analysis and Fuzzy Expert Systems Early Warning and Emergency Response of Landfill Operations

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Published by: Angga Kautsar on Nov 03, 2010
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02/13/2012

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Environmental Modelling & Software 24 (2009) 8–25
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Fault tree analysis and fuzzy expert systems:Early warning and emergency response of landfilloperations
I. M. Dokas
1,1
, D. A. Karras
2
, D. C. Panagiotakopoulos
3
 
1
Dr., Cork Constraint Computational Centre, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
2
Prof., Chalkis Institute of Technology, Automation Dept. and Hellenic Open University, Rodu 2, Ano Iliupolis, Athens,16342, Greece
3
Prof., Laboratory of Project Management, Civil Engineering Department, Democritus University of Thrace, Xanthi, 67100,Greece.
 
 Abstract 
In this paper we argue that early warning systems for engineering facilities can be developed bycombining and integrating existing technologies and theories. As example, we present an efficientintegration of fuzzy expert systems, fault tree analysis and World Wide Web technologies to theirapplication in the development of the Landfill Operation Management Advisor (LOMA), a novel earlywarning and emergency response system for solid waste landfill operations. The aim of LOMA is toprovide assistance to landfill managers on their efforts in preventing accidents and operationalproblems and to help them to develop emergency response plans if these operational problems shalloccur. Additional aim is to disseminate information and knowledge to the public on landfill
1
Corresponding author.
E-mail address:
i.dokas@4c.ucc.ie, jdokas@yahoo.gr
 
 
Environmental Modelling & Software 24 (2009) 8–25
2operational problems and their adverse effects. This aim is related to solid waste organizations thathave to accord with legislations similar to the European Union’s EC Directive (2003/4/EC) on PublicAccess to Environmental Information.When using LOMA, the user first describes the working conditions at the landfill. Then, based on thisdescription, LOMA informs user about the potential operational problems. Afterwards, it analyzesthe operational problems in more detail and it estimates the possibility of their occurrence. Finally, itprovides advice on how to prevent them and on how to respond if any of them occurs. This paperthoroughly investigates LOMA development as well as its integral methodologies and validates it byoutlining its performance in test cases that were performed by experts during the operation of a reallandfill as well as in test cases extracted from a specially constructed database with synthetic events.
Keywords
Early warning system, Expert systems, Fault tree analysis, Fuzzy logic, Possibility theory, Landfills,Operational problems, Public access to environmental information, Accidents.
Software Availability
Landfill Operation Management Advisor is a web based system which is available for free from
http://loma.civil.duth.gr
 
1. INTRODUCTION1.1. Problem Definition
In order to manage the anticipated problems from the generation and disposal of solid waste, SolidWaste Management (SWM) systems have been designed and are operating worldwide. The maintask of a SWM system is to collect, transport, and dispose the solid waste generated within a servicearea using methods and techniques that meet predefined specifications. These systems include
 
 
Environmental Modelling & Software 24 (2009) 8–25
3source separation of recyclables and hazardous waste as well as facilities for recycling andcomposting (Salhofer et al., 2007 ). A number of facilities like landfills, recycling, scrap, andincinerators are some components of a SWM system. However, being common in many engineeringsystems, the operations in these facilities are associated with problems. The consequences of theoperational problems in SWM facilities, depending on their nature and severity, range from minorinfrastructure damages or simple nuisance problems to critical events, which can lead to the loss of human lives or even to disasters.In this work the term “operational problem” is used to describe a situation during the operation of afacility, which is undesirable from an environmental, economical, social, and operationalperspective. In the context of landfills, such operational problems could be the surface andsubsurface fires, wind blown litter, traffic problems, and problems regarding the leachate and gasmanagement, together with accidents and fatal injuries.An indicative example of a disaster that is related to land disposal of waste is the disaster thathappened in the Leuwigajah dumpsite in Indonesia, where after 3 days of heavy rainfall 2.700.000m
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of waste started sliding down the valley (Kölsch et al., 2005). The waste covered an area of 900 m× 300 m, 147 people died in the ruins of two settlements, and the surrounding environment hasbeen damaged significantly. Another worth to mention example is the fire that burst out in thesecond larger landfill in Greece during the summer of 2006. Most probably, the fire was burning fordays in the compacted volume of waste under the subsurface of the landfill. It was expanded at thesurface after the collapse of a large pile of waste. The fire was burning for 10 days and released largeamount of dioxins in the atmosphere. In addition to the fire incident, one leachate holding pond wasoverflowed due to the collapse of the waste pile causing large quantities of leachate to be expandedto the surrounding area and to reach the houses of an adjacent village. In short, the incident resultedin a local scale crisis, and environmental disaster.

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