Integration Strategies for GIS and Optimization Tools

Integration Strategies for GIS and Optimization Tools

Sami Faiz (Institut Supérieur des Arts Multimédia de La Manouba, University of La Manouba, Tunisia & LTSIRS, ENIT, University of El Manar, Tunisia) and Saoussen Krichen (Institut Supérieur de Gestion de Tunis, University of Tunis, Tunisia & LARODEC, ISG, University of Tunis, Tunisia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-5888-2.ch309
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A close analysis of the literature reveals that GIS is able to solve a wide range of spatial decision problems from numerous fields of study as environment and ecology (Rossi and Villa 2009), waste management (Alvarez et al. 2007), urban planning (Li 2011) and transportation (Perpina et al. 2009). Meanwhile, some inefficiency arises when using solely the GIS since it does not contain advanced functionalities that yield to the finding of optimal solutions or interactive decision support systems. The GIS-O literature can be resumed in three main classes of integration strategies.

The Full Integration

Optimization routines are entirely embedded in the GIS or conversely. A first attempt of a GIS-O integration consists in fully hosting one system’s operations into the other. The resulting system corresponds to one of the master-slave scheme, as evoked in Brandmeyer and Karimi (2000). As in most cases, we speak about a complete integration of optimization routines into GIS. Huang and Jiang (2002) encouraged the use of the GIS macro language as it ensures the stability and durability of the full integrated system, once optimization routines are to be integrated.

The Loose Integration

An alternative strategy for integration GIS and optimization, called the loose integration, consists in kepping each system apart and allowing the information exchange in the sense that the output of one system serves and input for the other.

Technically, the link between the GIS and the optimization component is managed via a common graphical user interface (GUI) that simulated the obtained framework as a single system that interacts easily with the DM.

Key Terms in this Chapter

GIS-O: The resulting combination of GIS and optimization tools according to the full, the loose or the tight integration strategies.

Full Integration Strategy: A framework that embeds one environment into another.

Optimization Tools: Solution approaches for solving constrained programming problems.

Tight Integration Strategy: A framework that hybrids the full and the loose integration strategies.

CVRP: Capacitated vehicle routing problem.

GIS: Geographical information system.

Loose Integration Strategy: A framework that keeps each system apart.

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