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Selection: Soncini-Sessa:R [18 articles] 

Publications by author Soncini-Sessa:R.

Lexicographic optimisation for water resources planning: the case of Lake Verbano, Italy

In Proceedings of the iEMSs First Biennial Meeting: Integrated Assessment and Decision Support (2002), pp. 235-240


Lake Verbano is a natural lake used as multipurpose reservoir. The lake supplies water for irrigation and hydropower generation to downstream users, while flood controls are applied to protect the lake shores and the downstream populations on the Ticino river, and environmental preservation constraints must be respected. All these objectives are conflicting and they have different priorities, as stated by the Italian regulation on water use. This paper explores a methodology aimed at solving this conflict. The stakeholders involvement in the ...


The management of Lake Como: a multiobjective analysis

Water Resources Research, Vol. 22, No. 2. (1 February 1986), pp. 109-120,


This paper describes a heuristic approach for improving the performance of multipurpose reservoirs that have already been in operation for a certain number of years. The main characteristic of the method is that the analyst must first learn from the past experience of the manager and synthesize it into a simple operating rule. Then, the analyst must point out, with the help of the manager, what the acceptable modifications of such a rule are. After this has been accomplished, the optimal ...


  1. Bogle, M. G. V., and M. J. O'Sullivan, Stochastic optimization of a water supply system, Water Resour. Res., 15(4), 778-786, 1979.
  2. Colton, I. L, and D. H. Marks, A review and evaluation of multiob-jective programming techniques, Water Resour. Res., 11(2), 208-219, 1975.
  3. Gal, S., Optimal management of a multireservoir water supply syStem, Water Remo. Rm., 15(4), 737-749, 1979.
  4. Helweg, 0. L, R. W. Rinks, and D.

Putting humans in the loop: Social computing for Water Resources Management

Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 37 (November 2012), pp. 68-77,


The advent of online services, social networks, crowdsourcing, and serious Web games has promoted the emergence of a novel computation paradigm, where complex tasks are solved by exploiting the capacity of human beings and computer platforms in an integrated way. Water Resources Management systems can take advantage of human and social computation in several ways: collecting and validating data, complementing the analytic knowledge embodied in models with tacit knowledge from individuals and communities, using human sensors to monitor the variation of ...


A procedural approach to strengthening integration and participation in water resource planning

Environmental Modelling & Software, Vol. 21, No. 10. (October 2006), pp. 1455-1470,


Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) is emerging as a worldwide agreed alternative to the reductionist and top-down approach that was central to the water resource management in the last century. It has been adopted by the Water Framework Directive, the most ambitious and influential water policy tool of these days, as the guiding principle for the development of River Basin Management Plans (RBMP) that will be the common tool for planning and managing water resource in Europe in the next years. ...


Decision support systems for water management: the Lake Como case study

European Journal of Operational Research, Vol. 21, No. 3. (September 1985), pp. 295-306,


We review an application-oriented study on the management of Lake Como, a natural multipurpose reservoir in Northern Italy. The emphasis is on the Decision Support System that resulted from this study and which is now being used by the manager to take his decisions on the amount of water to be released each day from the lake. The decision support system is based on the optimal solutions of complex multiobjective mathematical programming problems. ...


IWRM in the Adda basin, Northern Italy

Geophysical Research Abstracts In European Geosciences Union (EGU) General Assembly 2013, Vol. 9 (2007), 08901


The Adda river basin, in Northern Italy, is a 6.500 km2 wide basin which includes the Como Lake. The lake has been used as a regulated multipurpose reservoir for sixty years and its management has been primarily aimed at the satisfaction of downstream water demands for irrigation and hydropower generation, as well as at the control of floods, both on the lake shores and on the outflowing Adda river. Due to the changing legal and hydrological conditions the conflict between these ...


Set-valued control laws in minmax control problem

In Modeling and control in environmental issues (2002)


The aim of this paper is to find a set-valued control policy and a set of initial states that are solutions of a minmax optimal control problem. The control problem is applied to a periodic discrete-time dynamic system, affected by disturbances characterized by a set-membership description. The functional to be minimized is the maximum cost per step that may occur under the worst combination of disturbances. ...


A participatory and integrated planning procedure for decision making in water resource systems

In Topics on System Analysis and Integrated Water Resources Management (2007), pp. 3-23,


This chapter presents a participatory and integrated planning procedure for decision making in water resource systems. In many parts of the world, water demand is increasing, while at the same time, availability and quality of water resources are decreasing, mainly due to human activities, in connection with the growing world population, ongoing urbanization, industrialization, and the intensification of agriculture. This development is often associated with general reductions in environmental quality and endangers sustainable development. An integrated approach is required to identify ...


PIP: a Participatory and Integrated Planning procedure for decision making in water resource systems

In Modelling and control for participatory planning and managing water systems (September 2004)


There is a wide consensus that integrated planning and management (iwrm) plays a crucial role in the current context of water resources, as well as that any water related decisional process must be participated in order to reach transparent and readily acceptable decisions. At European level the iwrm paradigm has been adopted by the Water Framework Directive that came into force in December 2000. The directive sets out a detailed framework for the improved planning and management of water, including in ...


On-line design of water reservoir policies based on inflow prediction

IFAC-PapersOnLine In Proceedings of the 17th IFAC World Congress, Vol. 41, No. 2. (06 July 2008), pp. 14540-14545,


Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP) is the method most extensively adopted to design release policies for water reservoir networks. However, it suffers of the well known "curse of dimensionality", which actually limits its applicability to small reservoir networks. In this paper we present an on-line approach to policy design that not only constitutes a viable alternative to overcome the SDP limits, but can also be used with an inflow predictor to improve the performance of SDPbased off-line policies. This latter possibility is ...


Choosing among infinite alternatives

In Integrated and participatory water resources management theory (2007), pp. 223-242


In Chapter 7 we understood that, even when the Decision Maker (DM) is acting in conditions of full rationality, the design of the alternatives poses three difficulties: the presence of infinite alternatives; the presence of uncertainty produced by random disturbances; and the presence of recursive decisions. In this chapter, we begin to describe the tools to overcome these difficulties by analysing the Design Problem in the simplest of cases: the case in which the actions being considered are all planning actions ...


Integrated and participatory water resources management - Theory



Covering the more recent advances in Modelling, Planning, Management and Negotiations for Integrated Water Resource Management, this text brings together knowledge and concepts from Hydrology, System Analysis, Control Theory, Conflict Resolution, and Decision and Negotiation Theory. Without compromising on mathematical rigour, the book maintains a fine line between theory and application, methodology and tools, avoiding getting locked into excessively theoretical and formal development of the issues discussed. The non-technical aspects of water resource systems (such as societal, political and legal concerns) ...


Neuro-dynamic programming for designing water reservoir network management policies

Control Engineering Practice, Vol. 15, No. 8. (August 2007), pp. 1031-1038,


Stochastic dynamic programming (SDP) can improve the management of a multipurpose water reservoir by generating management policies which are efficient with respect to the management objectives (flood protection, water supply for irrigation, hydropower generation, etc.). The improvement in efficiency is even more remarkable for networks of reservoirs. Unfortunately, SDP is affected by the well-known ‘curse of dimensionality’, i.e. computational time and computer memory occupation increase exponentially with the dimension of the problem (number of reservoirs), and the problem rapidly becomes intractable. ...


Participatory decision making in reservoir planning

In 1st biennial meeting of the IEMSS (2002), pp. 34-44


The technologies and methods for integrated planning and management of water resource systems have matured considerably over the past decades. However, relatively few of them have been actually and regularly applied in real world decisional processes. We feel this is essentially due to a general lack of engagement of stakeholders and decision makers at every stage of the decisional process. Innovative methodologies and tools to improve participation are presented, with focus on water reservoir systems. ...


  1. Anthony, R. Planning and controlsystems: a framework for analysis. PhD thesis, Harvard University Graduate School of Business Administration, 1965.
  2. Aufiero, A., R. Soncini-Sessa, and E. Weber. Setvalued control laws in minmax control problem. In IFAC Workshop Modelling and Control in Environmental Issues, August 22-23, Yokohama, Japan, 2001a. Elsevier.
  3. Aufiero, A., R. Soncini-Sessa, and E. Weber. Setvalued control laws in TEV-DC control problem. Technical Report 2001.60, Dip. Elettronica e Informazione, Politecnico di

Neuro-Dynamic Programming for the efficient integrated water resources management

In Modelling and control for participatory planning and managing water systems (30 September 2004)


Design of policies within the integrated water resources management (IWRM) paradigm demands to take into account multiple objectives such as flood protection, water supply for hydropower generation, irrigation and urban use, imposition of minimum environmental flows, etc.. Finding efficient water management policies is a demanding task and Stochastic Dynamic Programming (SDP) can provide an effective solution methodology. The efficiency boost is even more pronounced when the scale of integration of the water management problem spans networks of water resources (i.e. sets of interconnected reservoirs, or wide-area ...


Pianificazione delle risorse idriche a scala di bacino: il caso del Fiume Adda

In Ricerca ed innovazione nell'idraulica agraria e nelle sistemazioni idraulico-forestali (2007), pp. 199-202

A selective improvement technique for fastening neuro-dynamic programming in water resources network management

IFAC-PapersOnLine In Proceedings of the 16th IFAC World Congress, Vol. 38, No. 1. (04 July 2005), pp. 7-12,
edited by Pavel Zítek


An approach to the integrated water resources management based on Neuro-Dynamic Programming (NDP) with an improved technique for fastening its Artificial Neural Network (ANN) training phase will be presented. When dealing with networks of water resources, Stochastic Dynamic Programming provides an effective solution methodology but suffers from the so-called "curse of dimensionality", that rapidly leads to the problem intractability. NDP can sensibly mitigate this drawback by approximating the solution with ANNs. However in the real world applications NDP shows to be ...


  1. Archibald, T.W., McKinnon, K.I.M., Thomas, L.C., 1997. An aggregate stochastic dynamic programming model of multireservoir systems. Water Resour. Res. 33, 333-340.
  2. Bellman, R.E., Dreyfus, S.E., 1959. Functional approximations and dynamic programming. Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation 13, 247-251.
  3. Bellman, R.E., Kabala, R., Kotkin, B., 1963. Polynomial approximation – a new computational technique in dynamic programming. Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation 17, 155–161.
  4. Bertsekas, D.P.,

Neuro-dynamic programming for the efficient management of reservoir networks

In Proceedings of MODSIM 2001, International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Vol. 4 (December 2001), pp. 1949-1954,


[:Significance (Ed.)] This article introduced in 2001 one of the very first successful applications of advanced machine learning techniques to solve complex, multicriteria management problems in water resources dealing with networks of water reservoirs. It applied approximate dynamic programming (here, neuro-dynamic programming - whose approximation of stochastic dynamic programming relies on artificial neural networks) to the integrated water resources management. The methodology is general enough to be potentially useful in other problems of integrated natural resources modelling and management (INRMM). [::Machine learning in ...


  1. Bellman, R.E., Dreyfus, S.E., 1959. Functional approximations and dynamic programming. Mathematical Tables and Other Aids to Computation, 13, pp. 247–251.
  2. Bertsekas, D.P., Tsitsiklis, J.N., 1996. Neuro-Dynamic Programming. Athena Scientific, Belmont, MA. INRMM-MiD:206209 .
  3. Georgakakos, A.P., Marks, D.H., 1987. A new method for real-time operation of reservoir systems. Water Resour. Res., 23(7), pp. 1376–1390.
  4. Georgakakos, A.P., 1989. Extended Linear Quadratic Gaussian Control for the real-time operation of reservoir
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