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UBC Theses and Dissertations

A knowledge-based system for highway location Castilho, Bernardo de


Knowledge-based systems are increasingly popular in a variety of fields. These systems may provide an elegant and comprehensive framework for the solution of ill-structured, complex problems that traditional computer systems cannot handle. This paper describes the implementation process of a prototype knowledge-based system designed to help in the task of locating and evaluating highway corridors, taking into account environmental, social and economic factors. The applicability of the approach to other engineering problems is also analyzed as well as the relative merits of alternate implementation tools. The most significant aspects of the system presented are its transparent reasoning, provided by extensive explanation facilities, the original spatial data representation structures it uses and the implementation of fuzzy operators to deal with uncertain information. The system presented has a comparatively reduced knowledge base and therefore does not achieve the level of performance expected from experts in the field. However, it does demonstrate how relatively new Artificial Intelligence techniques can be used in conjunction with conventional techniques to model a typical Civil Engineering problem.

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