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Fuzzy logic applications to environment management systems: Case studies

Ashok W. Deshpande* and D.V.Raje+

*Distinguished Professor, SIES-Indian Institute of Management, Nerul, Navi-Mumbai , India +Scientist, National Environmental Engineering Research Institute,Nagpur, India *Corresponding author e-mail:

Abstract Water quality management is an important issue of relevance in the context of present times. Water quality indices are computed for classification of water wherein the integration of parametric information on water quality data and the experts knowledgebase on their importance & weights are considered. Considerable uncertainties are involved in the process of defining water quality for specific usage. The paper presents modeling of cognitive uncertainty in perception of experts or consumers and statistical uncertainty in the field data while dealing with these systems with recourse to fuzzy logic Case study 1 presents fuzzy description of water quality in river Ganga for bathing purpose following partial implementation of pollution control strategies while Case study 2 arrives at per capita water consumption of the consumers of the study area in Coimbatore, India for their level of satisfaction . Keywords: water quality; fuzzy set theory; water consumption; linguistic terms; Fuzzy number; degree of match; degree of certainty

Delphi[2]. To calculate the aggregation Water Quality Index (WQI), either a weighted linear system of the sub indices (WQI a) or a weighted product aggregation function (WQI m) are used and are considered as U. S National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) guidelines for defining water quality. Conceptually similar methods are used in other countries for defining water quality. The problem of water quality classification can be approached using combination of Degree of Match and the Fuzzy Rule-based System .In a fuzzy rule based system, the experts represent their knowledge concerning the classification of the object (water quality) in the form of rules. Each rule has a set of antecedent propositions comprising of attribute names for example: pH, Dissolved Oxygen, etc. and attribute values or linguistic description like very good, good, etc These linguistic descriptions are invariably imprecise keeping in view the inadequate information on the health implications of each parameter on the users and the integrated effect of all the parameters on human health. Furthermore, the field data on the parametric concentrations are often inadequate resulting into imprecise assertions. A computational scheme of Degree of Match (DM) has been used with a view to estimate matching between the assertion and the antecedent part of the rule, in order to describe river water quality fuzzily with certain degree of certainty [3] Classification of water quality for bathing purpose at three sampling stations along the river Ganga, India and also over a 25 km stretch of this river at Varanasi, a place known for religious bathing, is fuzzily described. 2.1 Method Firstly water quality experts are identified and relevant field data is collected. Additional data generation is a logical step if the available data is inadequate for analysis. Perception of experts about the linguistic description of river water quality for bathing is obtained on interviewing or through a questionnaire. Modeling of uncertainty in the experts perception by constructing fuzzy sets/ fuzzy numbers and the uncertainty in the field data of water quality parameters using the concept of convex normalized fuzzy number is the next step. The parameters identified for defining bathing water quality by the experts

1.Introduction Information on the status and changing trends in environmental quality is necessary to formulate sound public policy and efficient implementation of environmental pollution abatement programs. Modeling of satisfaction levels of the end user in relation to a defined parameter coupled with imprecision which stems from the field data is a key issue. Successes of probability theory have high visibility. But what is not widely recognized is that successes mask a fundamental limitation-the inability to operate on what may be called perception - based information which can be modeled with recourse to fuzzy set theory [1]. The paper demonstrates application of the concept to the selected environmental systems such as: a) river water quality classification and 2) per capita water consumption. 2. Fuzzy Description of River Water Quality for Bathing One of the most effective ways to communicate information on environmental trends in general and river water quality in particular to policy makers and public at large is with indices. The aggregation indices representing the integrated effect of individual concentration of water quality parameters was proposed by Brown et al using

are: Faecal Coliforms (FC), Dissolved Oxygen (DO), Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), pH and Turbidity. Randomness in the water quality data can be transformed into a convex normalized fuzzy number A with membership grade function (x) thereby characterizing the dynamic behavior of the water quality parameters .[3] Construction of fuzzy number or fuzzy sets for modeling the perception of the experts in classifying each parametric domain in linguistic terms such as very good, good etc which allows for referencing all possible parametric values to be described 2.1.1 Matching between fuzzy values The fuzzy number for field data (A) on parameters and the fuzzy numbers (A') characterizing linguistic terms are matched together to arrive at a measure called a Degree of Match (DM) defined by [3]

If DO is <fair>and BOD is <good>and pH is <very good> Then chemical status of water is <good>.The rule at the next level could be If bacteriological status of water is <fair> and Chemical status of water is < good >and Physical status of water is <fair> Then water quality for bathing is< just acceptable> (3) The degree of match of each classification rule indicates the certainty value of classification.

1.0 0.8 0.6 0.4 0.2 0.0 0 5

Fuzzy number for Field Data Fuzzy set for Expert's Perception - Very Good

DM ff (AA') = AA' (x) dx / A' (x) dx, x X. (1) in which x denotes the universe, and AA' , x is membership grade for AA'. Furthermore, if A and A' are the discrete possibility distributions the measure is defined as: DM ff (AA') = AA' (x) / A' (x), x X Figure1 presents the Degree of Match 2.1.2 Fuzzy Rule Based System A set of rules is constructed for classifying water quality as highly acceptable, just acceptable, not acceptable (rejected) in order to aggregate the set of attributes. (Fig2) Each rule has antecedent propositions connected together using AND operator, resulting in some consequences .The assertions related to its antecedent part are obtained from the users, which are imprecise or fuzzy. Thus a fuzzy rule based system can be developed for the knowledge representation or reasoning process. Here the partial matching is allowed and the analyst can estimate the extent to which the assertion satisfies the antecedent part of the rule contrary to the rule- base system which examines as to whether the antecedent part is satisfied or not [4] A hierarchical structure for water classification resulting in a set of rules can be constructed. The chemical status of water is judged in the first hierarchical level of knowledge base. The second hierarchical level characterizes bacteriological, chemical and physical status of water to arrive at the ultimate acceptable strategy of water quality for bathing purpose. Following are the sample rules stored at two different hierarchical levels of the knowledge base: Very ( 2)

Membership Function


40 45


Faecal Coliform Count in MPN/100ml of water sample

Figure 1: Degree of Match of Field Data on Faecal Coliforms with Linguistic term Good (Sampling Station -Rishikesh) The greater the degree of match, the greater is the possibility that the object (water) is classified in that class. The rules are processed using conjunction and disjunction operators and as per the hierarchical structure for fuzzily describing the water quality. The optimal acceptance strategy is usually that for which the degree of assertion is the maximum.[4]

2.1.3 Case Study 1 The case study relates to fuzzy water quality description with the available water quality data from three sampling stations along the Ganga, one of the important rivers in India from religious viewpoint. These are: Rishikesh, Narora on the upstream of the river and Varanasi where the pollution is excessive.

Industrialization and urbanization with inadequate cognizance to the implementation of pollution control measures is the primary cause of river pollution in India. The water quality in Ganga has progressively deteriorated due to indiscriminate discharge of municipal sewage and the industrial effluents from the factories along the river. The Government of India had embarked upon the Ganga Action Plan (GAP) with the primary objective of water quality improvement for various uses. It was, therefore, prudent to evaluate the river water quality at various locations on implementation of the pollution abatement measures. In addition, the overall water quality in the 25 km stretch of Ganga at Varanasi between Ramnagar, the entry point to Varanasi and Mohana village- the recovery zone was also evaluated as these places (ghats) are used almost throughout the year for ceremonial bathing.

WQ Parameter
F.Coliform s DO

Micro- biological

WQ in Linguistic Terms With degree of certainty

High- Acceptable

Final Decision




Water Quality Part-Acceptable Decision

pH Not- Acceptable Turbidity Physical

Fig 2 Hierarchical Structure for Water Quality Classification

Following the formalized approach, convex normalized fuzzy numbers were constructed for the data sets of the parameters. Fifteen water quality experts (including the first author of this paper) were identified and their linguistic description on the respective parametric space of the above parameters was obtained for bathing purpose. Based on the information, fuzzy numbers/sets were constructed describing the interval of confidence for the terms very good, good, fair and poor. Fig. 1 shows the fuzzy number for very good faecal Coliforms reveals that almost all the experts agree that the

faecal coliforms count between 0-10MPN/100ml of water sample is very good for which the indicates the level of presumption =1. The level of presumption or membership function decreases with the increasing faecal coliforms count. When the count exceeds 20, none of the experts define the parameters as very good for bathing purpose. This is indicated by the level of presumption =0. Fig. 1 also presents the degree of match between the field data on faecal coliforms at Rishikesh (majority of pollution up to Rishikesh is primarily due to municipal sewage) and the fuzzy set for the various linguistic terms. Likewise, the degree of match for the other data sets and their linguistic classes was obtained.

According to Fig 2 first the water quality for defining the bio-chemical quality of water are first processed as the first hierarchical structure of the fuzzy rule base using min operator. The outcome of the computation was further processed in conjunction with the rules for faecal coliforms. The computation was continued with the rules for the physical parameter and the final results are obtained (Table 2)

Table 2: Fuzzy Description of River Water Quality with Degree of Certainty

Degree of Certainty Water Quality Description Highly Accepted Accepted Just Accepted Not Accepted Rishikesh 0.21 0.41 0.36 0.1 Narora 0.13 0.37 0.46 0.05 Varanasi 0 0 0.01 0.98

Table 1: Degree of Match of Field Data with the Fuzzy Terms at the Sampling Stations on Ganga
Sampling Parameter Location Very Good Faecal Coliforms 0.21 Dissolved 0.45 Oxygen Rishikesh BOD 0.13 PH 0.41 Turbidity 0.98 Faecal Coliforms 0.13 Dissolved 0.53 Oxygen Narora BOD 0.14 PH 0.16 Turbidity 0.71 Faecal coliforms 0 Dissolved 0.16 Oxygen Varanasi BOD 0.5 PH Turbidity 0.68 0.68 Linguistic Class Good Fair 0.8 0.16 0.58 0.3 0.03 0.6 0.08 0.6 0.37 0.53 0 0 0.33 0.47 0.51 0.36 0 0.4 0.23 0 0.4 0.02 0.5 0.46 0 0.01 0 0.12 0.29 0 Poor 0 0 0.02 0.1 0 0 0 0.05 0.02 0 0.98 0 0 0.06 0

Table 2 reveals that the water quality at Rishikesh is acceptable with the highest certainty value of 0.41. The next higher certainty value of 0.36 for just acceptable indicates that the experts perception is more towards the linguistic term just acceptable than towards highly acceptable. The logical conclusion based on the analysis is that the water quality at Varanasi for bathing is not acceptable or rejected with certainty value of 0.98. The study was also carried out at Varanasi in the 25 km stretch of the river Ganga concludes that there is no safe bathing place from the health viewpoint at Varanasi. Fuzzy logic approach attaches certainty values to the linguistic terms while describing water quality whereas the water quality index defines water quality in only linguistic terms.

3. Agreement Consumption






Table 1 presents the degree of match of field data with the fuzzy terms at the above sampling stations [5] At Rishikesh, the parameters are described either very good or good, indicating a high DM associated with these terms .It can be inferred that the DM for faecal coliforms progressively decreases from Rishikesh to Varanasi indicating phenomenal increase in organic pollution load. The DM computed are the inputs to the fuzzy rule-based system in which the rules are processed resulting in water quality classification of Ganga water for bathing purpose.

Per capita water needs is one of the important decision parameter in policy formulation for the allocation of financial resources for water supply projects. Per capita water demand depends on several factors such as: seasonal variations, income groups, habits of the consumers etc. What is not considered is the imprecision in the perception of the consumers views on water demand for their satisfaction. Statistical distributions to the metered data estimate the volumetric water supplied by the authority and does not necessarily signify consumer satisfaction. There is a need to develop a scientific method for the estimation of water consumption based on consumer satisfaction.

3.1 Case Study 2

Ramlingam Colony of Coimbatore city in India was selected for the research study. The necessary data was collected from 200 representative houses of the colony. All the houses in the study area have a single 12mm(1/2) service connection. Water was supplied to the city for about 6hours daily and from the interaction with the consumers it was felt that they were satisfied with the quantity of water supply though there were complaint of inadequate pressure in the water tap. Failure of monsoon had forced the municipal corporation authorities to switchover to alternate day water supply. Weibull density function represented the water supply metered data, most appropriately. The probability density function is given by, f(x , ) = ( / q)x p-1 exp[-xp/ q ] ; x > 0 = 0, elsewhere (4)

Also, agreement index for per capita water consumption based on consumer full satisfaction level is a new concept of practical relevance. The past two decades have witnessed a dramatic growth in use of probability- based methods in a wide variety of applications centering on automation of decision-making in an environment of uncertainty and incompleteness of information. The authors believe that the fuzzy logic concepts, if used intelligently, could be an effective technique for some of the environmental policy issues. 5. Further scope of work In the absence of epidemiological evidence, it is difficult for the experts to opine about the water quality for a designated use. There is a need to undertake epidemiological studies in order to construct more realistic fuzzy numbers for characterizing the imprecision and thereby fuzzily describing river water quality. Prediction of per capita water needs with changing life style is the other relevant area for further research.

where and are the shape and the scale parameters of the distribution. The parameters and were estimated using method of moments and substituted in the distribution function to ultimately obtain the expected frequency curve. The data on metered water supply was transformed into a convex normalized fuzzy number by using transformation In order to model the perception of consumers on full satisfaction of their water needs a fuzzy set was constructed. Agreement Index (AgI) between fuzzy number for water consumption data and fuzzy set for full satisfaction of the consumers in relation to their water needs was plotted. The study concludes that on an average per connection daily water supply to this colony was 1100 liters that corresponds to 137 lit/capita/day based on average of 8 consumers per connection. The consumers are managing their water needs but are not fully satisfied. Complete matching between the two fuzzy values presents full satisfaction of the consumers of the colony residents for the agreement index equals one. It can be inferred that the consumers at Coimbtore, India would be fully satisfied with 187-litres/ capita daily water is supplied. The Corporation authorities should consider planning of their water supply augmentation schemes on per capita water daily consumption value of 187 liters.



Zadeh, L.A;. Towards a Perception-Based Theory of Probabilistic Reasoning- Abstract of a plenary address at the July 2000 conference of North American Fuzzy Information Processing Society. Brown, M, et al; A Water Quality Index-Do We Dare? Water and Sewage Works,(1970), Vol.117 No 10.pp 339-343. Ersoy K and Cho, S; An algorithm to compute the degree of match in fuzzy systems, Journal of Fuzzy Sets and Systems,(1992) North Holland, Vol. 49.pp.285- 299. Deshpande, A. W, Raje, D.V and Khanna, P; Fuzzy Description of River Water Quality, paper for International conference-EUFIT 1996.




4. Conclusions The objective method of computing water quality index in order to present a concise picture of overall water quality trends is often used as a tool in the administration of water quality abatement programs However, in view of the uncertainties discussed above, the approach outlined in this paper using fuzzy logica soft computing technique could be a better representation of a dynamic system, and thereby providing a new dimension of gauging river water quality for specific purpose.

Deshpande,A.W, Raje, D.V; and Khanna, P; Agreement Index for Water Consumption, Paper for International Conference-EUFIT 1996