Welcome to Scribd, the world's digital library. Read, publish, and share books and documents. See more
Standard view
Full view
of .
Save to My Library
Look up keyword
Like this
0 of .
Results for:
No results containing your search query
P. 1
Fuzzy Logic and Risk-based Soil Interpretations

Fuzzy Logic and Risk-based Soil Interpretations

Ratings: (0)|Views: 249 |Likes:
Published by 1_1_1

More info:

Published by: 1_1_1 on Jul 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


Read on Scribd mobile: iPhone, iPad and Android.
download as PDF, TXT or read online from Scribd
See more
See less





Geoderma 77 (1997) 299-315
Fuzzy logic and risk-based soil interpretations
M.D. Mays a,*, I. Bogardi b, A. Bardossy c
" National Soil Survey Center, USDA/Natural Resources Conservation Service, Lincoln, NE 68508, USAb ....Department of Cwd Engineering, University of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE 68508, USAc Department of Hydrology, Stuttgart University, Stuttgart, Germany
Received 14 March 1996; accepted 27 February 1997
Fuzzy set logic is used to express the risk in soil interpretation ratings. Uncertainty inherent inthe definition of estimated sets of properties used to characterize a given map unit is describedwith the help of fuzzy sets. Threshold levels of soil properties (where no adverse consequencescan be expected) are used to formulate a continuum for assessment. Different types of adverseconsequences may be considered. Here we describe economic, non-economic private, andnon-economic social consequences. The relative consequences are functions of the deviationbetween the estimated and threshold soil properties characterizing a given rating. We assumed thatthe consequence functions estimated by an expert group are exact. The methodology can beextended to uncertain consequence functions and is applied to soil suitability ratings in four mapunits in Saunders County, Nebraska. The integrated risk index calculated with the methodologycan help to select a cost-effective solution to management considerations.
soil interpretation; risk; fuzzy logic; map unit
1. Introduction
This paper describes efforts to find a more effective way of expressing the vaguenessand imprecisions of soil survey interpretations and to find an acceptable way ofcommunicating these imprecisions to users. Fuzzy logic is used to quantify the vague-ness and imprecision of the interpretations. Risk analysis methodology is used tocommunicate the uncertainty to users. A cost factor is then associated with the risk indexso that the user can evaluate cost-effectiveness of reducing the risk or overcomingmanagement limitations.
* Corresponding author. Fax: + 1 (402) 437 5760. E-mail: dmays@nssc.nrcs.usda.gov0016-7061/97/$17.00 © 1997 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
300 M.D. Mays et al. / Geoderma 77 (1997) 299-315
Soil interpretations are predictions of soil behavior under specified conditions (Kel-logg, 1961) and are necessary in order to make soil surveys useful to people (Mausbachet al., 1993). However, soil survey interpretations are uncertain for several reasons,including use and season-dependent soil properties (Hole and Campbell, 1985; Gross-man and Pringle, 1987). Criteria chosen to define interpretations are based on impliedsoil properties and qualities that have varying degrees of accuracy. Within a landscape,soils form a continuum that often may not be easily distinguished by field techniques, orit may not be feasible to separate these soils at the scale of the survey. Also, within amap unit, different soils (components) may be found. In addition, between delineationsof the same map unit within a survey, the soil composition varies, and there are rangeswithin map unit components. Varying amounts of data within and between survey areasare needed to make interpretative decisions. Finally, information used to make soilsurvey interpretations is usually collected by a number of soil scientists and others thatmay have varying degrees of experience and competence (Mays, 1996).Soil survey information has been widely used in identifying appropriate sites forseptic tank filter fields. In some rural areas where such information is not used, septictank filter fields fail. Failures are expensive to fix (costing an estimated $10,000) andmay lead to soil and ground-water pollution. Wells may be contaminated, and somepeople would 'drink their own sewage' (Sanchez, 1993).By providing risk-based information to users, management decisions can be madebased on associated cost needed to reduce the risk to an acceptable level. Suchinformation allows the decision making to rest primarily with the user and to be basedon the risk the user is willing to assume along with the associated cost for risk reduction.The primary role of the soil scientist is to provide the necessary information on theinherent risk of the alternatives so that the users can make an informed decision.Risk analysis in engineering in general includes the following elements: (1) load orexposure, (2) capacity or threshold, (3) the failure event when load is larger thancapacity, and (4) the consequence of failure. Often, the first three elements are used todefine risk (Duckstein and Plate, 1987). This so-called engineering risk analysis of soilinterpretation is included in Bogardi et al. (1996). In the risk analysis presented in thispaper, all four elements are considered, that is, the various consequences of a possiblefailure are also considered.
2. Elements of risk analysis
(!) In environmental problems, such as soil interpretation, the exposure a can beestimated with some level of certainty. If a certain rating is characterized by a number ofestimated or actual soil properties i, the set of these properties represents the exposure.The uncertainty can be encoded by probabilistic methods. However, in the case of soilinterpretations, rarely are enough data available to describe exposure uncertainty bystatistical methods. Consequently, fuzzy logic is used to represent uncertainty in theexposure. Recent papers have described the principles and application of fuzzy logic insoil science (Chang and Burrough, 1987; De Gruijter and McBratney, 1988; Burrough,1989; Burrough et al., 1992; McBratney and De Gruijter, 1992; Bogardi et al., 1995;
M.D. Mays et al. / Geoderma 77 (1997) 299-315
301Mays et al., 1995; Mazaheri et al., 1995; McBratney and Odeh, 1997). Accordingly, theestimated (actual) soil properties representing a certain rating are defined as fuzzynumbers.(2) The resistance, or threshold b, is determined from values given in the NationalSoil Survey Handbook (Soil Conservation Service, 1993) or an expert panel. Thethreshold value corresponds to the so-called optimal set of soil properties representingthe given rating. 'Optimal' means that no failure or adverse consequences can occur ifthe actual and optimal sets of soil properties coincide. The threshold may also beuncertain, and probabilistic or fuzzy logic methods can be used to describe the thresholdunder conditions of uncertainty.(3) Failure is defined as an event when exposure is larger than threshold: a > b. Dueto the uncertainties in a and b, this event can be expressed as a probability described as
P(a > b),
or as a difference between two fuzzy numbers (a - b), in the present case.(4) The consequence of failure may have different and multiple elements. Some ofthe adverse consequences can be measured in monetary terms, but non-economicconsequences may be just as important. For instance, in our example, described later,non-monetary consequences include social (or public) and private (or individual)discomfort.
3. Risk-analysis methodology
A methodology was developed and tested to make soil interpretations under condi-tions of uncertainty (Bogardi et al., 1995). That methodology includes consideration ofuncertainty both in the optimal set and the estimated set of soil properties relevant to agiven rating decision, such as one for septic tank filter fields. The methodology wasapplied in Saunders County, Nebraska (Fig. 1) and an interactive computer program wasdeveloped to facilitate its use.The main difficulty of estimating the risk associated with soil interpretations isrelated to two items:(1) The exposure is a fuzzy vector representing a given rating developed fromsomewhat interrelated soil properties. How is it possible to define a failure event whenthese properties may be interrelated and may have different importance in view of therating?(2) There are several types of adverse consequences resulting from practices per-formed or interpretations applied (see Appendix A). How is it possible to arrive at anintegrated risk index over the different consequences?In order to respond to these items, the risk assessment methodology for soilinterpretations should utilize two main factors. Uncertainties in the exposure influencinga rating, and possibly the uncertainties in the various consequences are described byfuzzy logic. This is a novel approach in view of the traditional method of a probabilisticrepresentation of uncertainties. In the practical case of soil interpretations it is quitedifficult to interpret the often vague, imprecise, and qualitative information by statisticalmethods. In this situation fuzzy logic is a viable alternative (Kosko and Iaska, 1993).Similarly, the consequences of a possible excess exposure, that is, a deviation from a

Activity (3)

You've already reviewed this. Edit your review.
1 thousand reads
1 hundred reads
Pedro Bortot liked this

You're Reading a Free Preview

/*********** DO NOT ALTER ANYTHING BELOW THIS LINE ! ************/ var s_code=s.t();if(s_code)document.write(s_code)//-->