FOREWORD OF THE CONVENERS
The colloquium “Mathematical Geology and Knowledge Engineering” took place in ITMO University in the framework of the Knowledge Engineering and Semantic Web conference 11 October 2012 (KESW-2012) partly «in praesentia» and partly online. The online discussion was moderated by the participants present in person. Due to informality of the event, we applied no strict rules on formatting of contributions, which were submitted later as extended abstracts. Abstracts in Russian are provided with brief summaries in English.
The science of mathematical geology, founded by Andrei Vistelius in 1940s-1960s, aims to mathematically express the evolution of the Earth. This claim, however, appeared to be very hard-to-meet by geology and therefore the program of Vistelius remains largely unfulfilled. The reason for this, or at least a part of reason, is the gap between traditional geological knowledge and mathematical formalisms that impedes formulation of strict qualitative conceptual models, which were thought by Vistelius as the basement for mathematical modeling.
Nevertheless, one may expect that this problem was faced, with more or less dramatism, by many descriptive sciences, and the study of artificial intelligence, namely the knowledge engineering, has suggested tools to cope with it.
The present colloquium aims to discuss the today’s state of mathematical and conceptual modeling in geology and make overture toward application of the methods of knowledge engineering in geology to create conceptual models.
Cyril Pshenichny and Victor Dech consider theoretical issues of co-implementation of principles of mathematical geology and knowledge engineering.
Stephen Henley focuses this idea on the particular issue of relational database design in geology, stressing the “missing value” problem. This is a classical type of knowledge engineering problem defined as static by Pshenichny and Kanzheleva (2011), meaning by static the knowledge in which the relations between subjects and predicates are not supposed to change either with time or under any other circumstances.
Susanna Jenkins and coauthors demonstrate an opportunity of use of a knowledge engineering approach to incorporate qualitative volcano descriptions into a quantitative numerical model.
Alexander Shkotin emphasizes the importance of use of controlled natural languages in geoscience database design and unravels the path from “loose” geological narration to logical proof, thus explicating the ground for use of ontologies in geoscientific studies.
Victor Snezhko presents the state-of-the-art of ontology design in application to geological mapping where the ontologies can be used as “thematic metadata” intensifying the search of rock units and their correlation both at conceptual level (i.e., in map legends) and in space.
Alexander Veselovsky and Daria Kuzmina describe an information system that uses various types of metadata for a wide range of geological and geographical applications including distributed computation and GIS-based modeling.
Pierre Gehl and coauthors proceed to dynamic knowledge engineering tasks, in terms of Pshenichny and Kanzheleva (2011). These are the tasks in which the relations between subjects and predicates describing particular events may change, thus reflecting the transformation of events, or scenarios of evolution. Gehl et al. introduce a formal framework for multi-risk impact assessment scenarios usable in seismic and volcanic crises. Their study uses the diagrams of unified modeling language (UML) which may bear the “dynamic” load, although expressed implicitly so far.
Another implicit yet penetrating vision is presented by Tatiana Matveeva who studies gas hydrate formation on the Arctic sea floor and the economic value of these deposits. The conceptual scheme of geologic exploration activities she proposes is intuitive enough to be well understood by the geological community and the same time has a potential for formalization by a number of static and dynamic knowledge engineering tools including flowcharts, event-driven process chains, succession and activity diagrams and influence networks.
Gonéri Le Cozannet and coauthors model the dynamics of tropical sea coasts and, like Matveeva, propose an intuitive conceptualization that has a lot in common with the method of event bush developed specially for dynamic knowledge engineering. They demonstrate how the thought of a geoscientist transforms and becomes increasingly formal when proceeds from field observations to conceptual modeling.
Finally, Kirill Khovorostovsky and Cyril Pshenichny thoroughly describe a task of modeling the ice sheet evolution and show the “preparation of material” for modeling by means of the event bush – a task deemed very important by Vistelius.
The results presented at the colloquium, being in many cases highly preliminary and tentative, nevertheless mark the intention of a part of the geoscientific community to evolve toward creation of conceptual models in their domains of knowledge by means of knowledge engineering. This motion with time will bring mature results and high-level publications but this colloquium, being the first, will be remembered and referenced as the pioneering action.
Good luck for the authors, and nice time for the readers!
LIST OF CONTRIBUTIONS
MATHEMATICAL GEOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE ENGINEERING: VIEW FROM ST. PETERSBURG
Cyril Pshenichny and Vicrtor Dech, MATHEMATICAL GEOLOGY AND KNOWLEDGE ENGINEERING: VIEW FROM ST. PETERSBURG
Susanna Jenkins, Christina Magill, John McAneney, and Russell Blong, REGIONAL VOLCANIC HAZARD ASSESSMENT
Alexander Shkotin, FORMAL LANGUAGE FOR NATURAL SCIENCES
Alexander Vesselovsky and Daria Kuzmina, DISTRIBUTED INFORMATION AND COMPUTATION SPACE OF AN INTEGRATED INFORMATION SYSTEM WITH DATA PROCESSING UNIT
Pierre Gehl, Caroline Quinet, Goneri Le Cozannet, and R. Thevenot, INTRODUCING A FORMAL FRAMEWORK FOR MULTI-RISK IMPACT ASSESSMENT SCENARIOS
Tatiana Matveeva, SUCCESSION OF STEPS AT EXPLORATION OF GAS HYDRATES AT THE OCEAN FLOOR
Goneri Le Cozannet, Manuel Garcin, and Cyril Pshenichny, AN APPROACH TO IMPROVE DATA MODELS IN COASTAL DATABASES
Kirill Khvorostovsky and Cyril Pshenichny, MASS BALANCE OF GREENLAND ICE SHEET: NEW TASK FOR CONCEPTUAL MODELING
Please cite these abstracts as
<Author1, X.Y.>, <Author2, X.Y.>, and <Author3, X.Y.>, 2015. <Title of the contribution>. In: Pshenichny, C.A., Dech, V.N., and Glebovitsky, V.A. (eds.), Knowledge Engineering and Mathematical Geology (Abstracts), ITMO University, St. Petersburg, Russia, <URL of the contribution>.