ESS Research and Development

ESS is engaged in a growing number of international research and development projects that provide the basis and major inputs for our products and services. Our heavy involvement in research activity guarantees that our systems are state-of-the-art and bring the best scientific knowledge and methods to bear on environmental problems. The overall methodological framework is applied systems analysis, integrating environmental sciences and information and communication technologies.

  Research topics and priorities

The research topics covered at ESS include:
  • real-time simulation, nowcasting and forecasting, and operational control and decision support based on methods of high-performance computing, and telemetry data assimilation.

  • artificial intelligence: expert systems, machine learning, case-based reasoning are the main topics; the basic approach is to develop tools that can be used where traditional, numerical algorithmic methods fail; one of the AI application domains is intelligent tools for distance learning.

  • multi-criteria decision analysis: environmental problems are almost always multi-objective, multi-criteria problems that require efficient tools for the comparative analysis of complex alternatives that are described by multiple criteria.

  • non-differentiable optimisation: while optimisation is a powerful and attractive paradigm, most environmental systems are far too complex to be addressed by conventional methods: they are dynamic, highly nonlinear, spatially distributed and usually contain a stochastic element. Combining methods of artificial intelligence (adaptive heuristics); genetic algorithms and Monte Carlo simulation exploiting parallel computational methods, we develop tools to optimise even the most complex systems including real-time operational control.

These topics are addressed for different application domains in a number of research and development projects within the framework programmes of the EU, the EUREKA programme, and national and international research funding programs. These research results are integrated into our products to ensure state of the art scientific methods and superior performance.
Research results are described in a series of
on-line publications,reports and presentations.
  Current and recently concluded   RTD projects   include:

  • WEBAIR EUREKA E! 3266 on real-time and web-based air quality assessment and management, integrating several 3D dynamic models covering a range of nested scales;

  • OPTIMA Optimisation for Water Resources Management, an INCO-MPC project develoing a participatory approach to multi-criteria resources management, involving partners around the Mediterranean and seven river basin case studies;

  • SMART Managing Scarce Resources in the Coastal Zone, and INCO-MED project dealing with scenario analysis of coastal zone development, land use dynamics, and water resources;

  • SUTRA (City of Tomorrow), addresses problems of urban development and sustainable urban transportation in a multi-city framework with emphasis on urban air quality;

  • A-TEAM (IST), develops an advanced technical training system for emergency assessment and management, using artificial intelligence, simulation modeling, and multi-media technology;

  • ISIREMM (INCO Copernicus) addresses issues of urban and industrial air quality management and the integration of novel monitoring technologies with a case study of Tomsk, Siberia;

  • HITERM (Esprit, High-performance computing and networking for decision support), applied to technological risk management: developed a real-time expert system for complex management tasks with embedded linked simulation models;

Copyright 1995-2003 by:   ESS   Environmental Software and Services GmbH AUSTRIA