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A Discrete-Event Dynamic Systems Approach for Environmental Decision-Support
Huang, Dong-Bin
PhD Thesis, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, Switzerland In his thesis, Dong-Bin Huang developed an event-based dynamic material flow and life-cycle-inventory modeling method and applied it in the urban area of Kunming (China) for urban water resource planning and pollution control of Dianchi Lake. Download
Discrete Event Simulation for Exploring Strategies
Huang, Dong-Bin
"This paper presents a model structure aimed at offering an overview of the various elements of a strategy and exploring their multidimensional effects through time in an efficient way. It treats a strategy as a set of discrete events planned to achieve a certain strategic goal and develops a new form of causal networks as an interfacing component between decision makers and environment models, e.g., life cycle inventory and material flow models. The causal network receives a strategic plan as input in a discrete manner and then outputs the updated parameter sets to the subsequent environmental models. Accordingly, the potential dynamic evolution of environmental systems caused by various strategies can be stepwise simulated. It enables a way to incorporate discontinuous change in models for environmental strategy analysis, and enhances the interpretability and extendibility of a complex model by its cellular constructs. It is exemplified using an urban water management case in Kunming, a major city in Southwest China. By utilizing the presented method, the case study modeled the cross-scale interdependencies of the urban drainage system and regional water balance systems, and evaluated the effectiveness of various strategies for improving the situation of Dianchi Lake." Environmental Science & Technology 2007, Vol. 41, Issue 3, pp. 915-921 Available for purchase from: ACS Publications
Confronting limitations
Huang, Dong-Bin
"Despite continuous investment and various efforts to control pollution, urban water environments are worsening in large parts of the developing world. In order to reveal potential constraints and limitations of current practices of urban water management and to stimulate proactive intervention, we conducted a material flow analysis of the urban water system in Kunming City. The results demonstrate that the current efficiency of wastewater treatment is only around 25% and the emission of total phosphorous from the city into its receiving water, Dianchi Lake, is more than 25 times higher than its estimated tolerance. With regard to the crisis of water quantity and quality, the goal of a sustainable urban water environment cannot be attained with the current problem-solving approach in the region due to the technical limitations of the conventional urban drainage and treatment systems. A set of strategies is therefore proposed. The urban drainage system in Zurich is used as a reference for a potential best-available technology for conventional urban water management (BAT) scenario in terms of its low combined frequency of sewer overflow." Journal of Environmental Management, online since July 2006 Available online from: ScienceDirect