A new methodology for evaluating coastal scenery: fuzzy logic systems

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Abstract:

Coastal scenery evaluated by utilization of selected landscape components was subjected to a fuzzy logic systems approach. Twenty-six top-rated parameters were identified from a literature search/questionnaire surveys carried out in Malta, Turkey and the UK and coastal scenery investigated at 57 sites. A coastal scenic evaluation checklist system was finalized and consisted of assessment parameters based on a five-point scale ranging from low to high attribute values. Coastal user parameter preferences and priorities for these parameters were obtained by a questionnaire perception study (n=270) given to both locals and visitors. Assessment parameter weights were calculated from this public perception survey via matrices relating to the selected landscape components. For each of the 26 parameters, a membership-graded matrix was established to counteract potential errors in assigning grades to the parameters when one has to give a unique number to the attribute value. To overcome subjectivity and quantify uncertainty, fuzzy logic mathematical methodology was adopted to this checklist approach. This enabled an Evaluation Index (D) value to be calculated, establishing a 5-class evaluation system. Class 1 scenery (extremely attractive natural site) had D values > 0.85; Class 2, between 0.85 and 0.65; Class 3, between 0.65 and 0.4; Class 4, between 0.4 and zero; Class 5 (very unattractive, intensively developed urban) below zero.

Keywords: Malta; Turkey; UK; coastal scenery assessments; fuzzy logic

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.0004-0894.2004.00238.x

Affiliations: 1: Civil Engineering Department, Middle East Technical University, Ankara, Turkey 2: ICoD, Foundation for International Studies, University of Malta, Valletta, Malta 3: Applied Sciences Department, University of Glamorgan, Pontypridd, Wales, UK, Email: allan.williams@virgin.net

Publication date: December 1, 2004

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