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Introducing "ecoputation": a universal systems design process

Sinclair, P., Peters, M. and Fudge, S. (2014) Introducing "ecoputation": a universal systems design process. Renewable & Sustainable Energy Reviews, 46. pp. 311-330. ISSN 1364-0321

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.rser.2014.11.057

Abstract/Summary

A universal systems design process is specified, tested in a case study and evaluated. It links English narratives to numbers using a categorical language framework with mathematical mappings taking the place of conjunctions and numbers. The framework is a ring of English narrative words between 1 (option) and 360 (capital); beyond 360 the ring cycles again to 1. English narratives are shown to correspond to the field of fractional numbers. The process can enable the development, presentation and communication of complex narrative policy information among communities of any scale, on a software implementation known as the "ecoputer". The information is more accessible and comprehensive than that in conventional decision support, because: (1) it is expressed in narrative language; and (2) the narratives are expressed as compounds of words within the framework. Hence option generation is made more effective than in conventional decision support processes including Multiple Criteria Decision Analysis, Life Cycle Assessment and Cost-Benefit Analysis.The case study is of a participatory workshop in UK bioenergy project objectives and criteria, at which attributes were elicited in environmental, economic and social systems. From the attributes, the framework was used to derive consequences at a range of levels of precision; these are compared with the project objectives and criteria as set out in the Case for Support. The design process is to be supported by a social information manipulation, storage and retrieval system for numeric and verbal narratives attached to the "ecoputer". The "ecoputer" will have an integrated verbal and numeric operating system. Novel design source code language will assist the development of narrative policy. The utility of the program, including in the transition to sustainable development and in applications at both community micro-scale and policy macro-scale, is discussed from public, stakeholder, corporate, Governmental and regulatory perspectives.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Transition Pathways to a Low-Carbon Economy
ID Code:38106
Publisher:Elsevier

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