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Set Theory Applied to Uniquely Define the Inputs to Territorial Systems in Emergy Analyses
Morandi, F., Daniel E. Campbell, AND S. Bastianoni. Set Theory Applied to Uniquely Define the Inputs to Territorial Systems in Emergy Analyses. ECOLOGICAL MODELLING. Elsevier Science BV, Amsterdam, Netherlands, 271:149-157, (2014).
The language of set theory can be utilized to represent the emergy involved in all processes. In this paper we use set theory in an emergy evaluation to ensure an accurate representation of the inputs to territorial systems. We consider a generic territorial system and we describe how the emergy related to every flow in these systems can be uniquely determined through the operation of the union of sets. The aim of this paper is to propose a new way to evaluate the main emergy flows entering a system using set theory,which is a general scheme applicable to every system. Because this paper represents the first step in an emergy evaluation of hierarchically – organized systems, we consider a territorial system as an example,because in it we will always have at least two levels of organization. In this regard we consider the relationships between flows to and from as well as within the system and the respective flows of one of its subsystems in the process providing a definition using the mathematics of sets both for the flows and for the relationships between the respective flows that occur at the different scales.
This paper presents an original mathematical method based on se theory for organizing the input to an emergy analysis of a territorial system. This method is completely general and when applied it ensures that there will be no double counting of inputs, which can be a problem in emergy evaluations and in other methods based on accounting such as Life Cycle Assessment. The potential impact of this work is high, but its actual impact on the field remains to be seen.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT
NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LAB
ATLANTIC ECOLOGY DIVISION