DEPUR: a knowledge-based tool for wastewater treatment plants


Miquel Sànchez-Marrè
Ulises Cortés

Departament de Llenguatges i Sistemes Informàtics
Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya
Edifici C5-Campus Nord
C/ Jordi Girona 1-3
08034 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain

Pau Serra

Passeig de Sant Joan 45
08009 Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain
Javier Lafuente
Departament d'Enginyeria Química
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Edifici C
08193 Bellaterra (Barcelona), Catalonia, Spain
Manel Poch
Laboratori d'Enginyeria Química i Ambiental.
Facultat de Ciències
Universitat de Girona
Campus de Montilivi
17071 Girona, Catalonia, Spain


A malfunction of a wastewater treatment plant is a big social and biological problem. A poorly treated waste water outside the plant could provoke dangerous consequences for human beings as well as the nature itself. The conventional control systems, that are usually applied in this field, have to cope with some difficulties: complexity of the system, an ill-structured domain, qualitative information, uncertainty or approximate knowledge, real-time dynamic system, ... This paper shows an application of artificial intelligence in order to help the operators of wastewater treatment plants in their task of process control. The main goal is to build a knowledge-based tool useful for the diagnosis and management of wastewater treatment plants. First, is made a survey on wastewater treatment plants to describe the complexity of the system being modelled and to outline its own difficulties. It is discussed the development of the application and the methodology employed in it. A new methodology called LINNEO + is introduced. It is used for the automatic knowledge acquisition process in order to build up a Knowledge Base. The prototype's architecture constructed -DEPUR- is detailed together with some obtained results.

Keywords: Knowledge-based Systems, Process Diagnosis and Management, Wastewater treatment, Knowledge Acquisition tools, Environmental Engineering, Biotechnology.


P. Serra, M. SÓnchez, J. Lafuente, U. CortÚs, and M. Poch, `` DEPUR: a knowledge-based tool for waste water treatment plants '', Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence , vol. 7, pp. 23-30, 1994.


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