Resources and environmental systems management under synchronic interval uncertainties

  • Guanhui Cheng
  • Guohe Huang
  • Cong Dong
  • Ying Lv
  • Junlong Zhang
  • Yao Yao
  • Xiujuan Chen
Original Paper


Resources and environmental systems management (RESM) is challenged by the synchronic effects of interval uncertainties in the related practices. The synchronic interval uncertainties are misrepresented as random variables, fuzzy sets, or interval numbers in conventional RESM programming techniques including stochastic programming. This may lead to ineffectiveness of resources allocation, high costs of recourse measures, increased risks of unreasonable decisions, and decreased optimality of system profits. To fill the gap of few corresponding studies, a synchronic interval linear programming (SILP) method is proposed in this study. The proposition of interval sets and interval functions and coupling them with linear programming models lead to development of an SILP model for RESM. This enables incorporation of interval uncertainties in resource constraints and synchronic interval uncertainties in the programming objective into the optimization process. An analysis of the distribution-independent geometric properties of the feasible regions of SILP models results in proposition of constraint violation likelihoods. The tradeoff between system optimality and constraint violation is analyzed. The overall optimality of SILP systems under synchronic intervalness is quantified through proposition of integrally optimal solutions. Integration of these efforts leads to a violation-constrained interval integral method for optimization of RESM systems under synchronic interval uncertainties. Comparisons with selected existing methods reveal the effectiveness of SILP at eliminating negativity of synchronic intervalness, enabling risk management of and achieving overall optimality of RESM systems, and enhancing the reliability of optimization techniques for RESM problems. The exploited framework for analyzing synchronic interval uncertainties in RESM systems is helpful for addressing synchronisms of other uncertainties such as randomness or fuzziness and avoiding the resultant decision mistakes and disasters due to neglecting them.


Resources and environmental systems management Synchronic interval uncertainty Interval linear programming Interaction Risk analysis 



This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan (2016YFC0502800, 2016YFA0601502), the Natural Sciences Foundation (51520105013, 51679087), the 111 Project (B14008) and the Natural Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada. We are very grateful to the editor and two anonymous peer reviewers who provided many constructive comments on how to improve our manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainable CommunitiesUniversity of ReginaReginaCanada
  2. 2.Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability ResearchUR-BNUReginaCanada
  3. 3.School of Traffic and TransportationBeijing Jiaotong UniversityBeijingChina
  4. 4.Resources and Environmental Research AcademyNorth China Electric Power UniversityBeijingChina

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