In this paper the development of a Case-Based reasoning system for Estuarine Modelling (CBEM) is presented. The aim of the constructed CBEM system is to facilitate the utilisation of complex modelling software by users who lack detailed knowledge about modelling techniques and require training and assistance to implement sophisticated software effectively. The system is based on modern computing methods and is constructed as a hybrid of three modules which operate conjunctively to guide the user to obtain the best possible simulation for realistic problems. These modules are: a case-based reasoning scheme, a genetic algorithm and a library of numerical estuarine models. Based on the features of a given estuary and the physical phenomenon to be modelled, an appropriate solution algorithm from the system's library is retrieved by the case-based module after a specifically designed reasoning process. The selected model is then analysed and further treated by the genetic algorithm component to find the optimum parameters which can appropriately model the conditions and characteristics of any given estuary. Using these modules the steps that yield the best solution for a problem from the available hydrographic data under a set of specified conditions are explained. This is further elucidated by an illustrative case study which shows the applicability of the present CBEM system under realistic conditions. This case deals with the simulation of salinity distribution in the Tay estuary (Scotland, UK).

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