Humanity has crossed the line from being a rural to urban species since 2007. For the first time in history, more people live in cities and urban areas than in the countryside. Starting in the developed ations, where the urbanisation process has been significantly decelerated in the meantime, urbanisation has especially increased in Asia and South America as well as in Africa to a substantial extent in the second half of the last century. Processes of urbanisation have a negative influence on the availability and quality of water resources. Especially in developing and emerging countries, the hydrological and hydrogeological setting of each region is deteriorated through the growing urbanization processes. Often the hydrological and hydrogeological basis of an area is strongly affected by rocesses of urbanisation in these countries. Changes of the structure of urban development going along with the urbanisation will not be without consequences for the environment and water resources.
In frame of this background the Department of Engineering Geology and Hydrogeology of the RWTH Aachen University analysis the interaction between high speed urbanisation/mega-urbanisation and water resources in China and India. In context to this we want to develop a knowledge-based planning and simulation framework.
The ultimate goal is developing a multi-agent simulation with a user-friendly interface so that people without mathematical background can model a simulation scenario. With this simulation, urban planners and scientists from different disciplines should be able to find models that can be used to predict infrastructural shortages as well as environmental and health problems based upon data covering demographics, socio-economic development, hydrogeologic measurements and land use. For many sub-problems, there are well-established theories, while others are subject to current research.
For the simulation we want use an existing simulation framework which is written in the action language Golog. A part of the problem domain is to be represented in a dynamic OWL-based ontology which serves as the knowledge base for the agent-based simulation environment. A basic taxonomy has already been created.
A fundamental part of your work will be requirements engineering. That is, you have to talk to domain experts in geography and hydrogeology to find the best way to implement the necessary changes of the existing simulation environment. The focus will lie on the simulation behaviour and the output of the simulation.
Then you have to implement an interface between Golog and OWL, where information is exchanged during a simulation run. In addition, you have to find out in which way the overall architecture of the existing simulation framework has to be adapted for the hydrogeologic domain.
What you need:
- The interpreter for Golog and parts of the simulation framework are written in Prolog. So you should like to read and write Prolog code, and have some practical experience.
- Golog, Prolog and OWL are based on logic. So you need fundamental knowledge in mathematical logic.
- If you don't know Golog or OWL, it is sufficient that you are interested in learning what you need to know about these languages for this task.
What is desirable:
- an understanding of software engineering,
- a background in Knowledge Representation and/or Artificial Intelligence.