Assessment of uncertainties in expert knowledge, illustrated in fuzzy rule-based models

Judith Janssen, Martinus S. Krol, Ralph Mathias Johannes Schielen, Arjen Ysbert Hoekstra, Jean-Luc de Kok

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33 Citations (Scopus)


The coherence between different aspects in the environmental system leads to a demand for comprehensive models of this system to explore the effects of different management alternatives. Fuzzy logic has been suggested as a means to extend the application domain of environmental modelling from physical relations to expert knowledge. In such applications the expert describes the system in terms of fuzzy variables and inference rules. The result of the fuzzy reasoning process is a numerical output value. In such a model, as in any other, the model context, structure, technical aspects, parameters and inputs may contribute uncertainties to the model output. Analysis of these contributions in a simplified model for agriculture suitability shows how important information about the accuracy of the expert knowledge in relation to the other uncertainties can be provided. A method for the extensive assessment of uncertainties in compositional fuzzy rule-based models is proposed, combining the evaluation of model structure, input and parameter uncertainties. In an example model, each of these three appear to have the potential to dominate aggregated uncertainty, supporting the relevance of an ample uncertainty approach.
Original languageUndefined
Pages (from-to)1245-1251
Number of pages7
JournalEcological modelling
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2010


  • Expert knowledge
  • Uncertainty Analysis
  • METIS-266135
  • Fuzzy Logic
  • IR-73552

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