Development Of An Optimization Component For The South Florida Regional Simulation Model
South Florida has a large number of water bodies, including rivers, lakes, and canals. Many of these water bodies are separated by manmade structures that allow water managers to control the flow throughout the region. These water managers are tasked with meeting a variety of objectives related to flood control, water supply, recreation, and the well-being of the ecosystem. Computer models are used to assist in meeting these objectives. In particular, the South Florida Water Management District employs simulation models that aim to describe the flow of water throughout the region. Simulation models allow managers to use computers to test the effects of changes to the system. In South Florida, the flow of water is governed by the hydrological characteristics of the region, as well as the actions of the individuals operating the flow control structures. In order to produce an accurate representation of the system, the simulation models in South Florida must incorporate both sets of characteristics. For this project, a Linear Programming (LP) model has been developed in cooperation with the South Florida Water Management District (SFWMD). The model contains the major water bodies and connecting structures in South Florida. The purpose of this program is to model the actions of the operators of the flow control structures. Given targets on the water levels in the various water bodies, the LP model allocates flows in a way that most closely meets the targets, subject to a variety of constraints. These constraints include physical characteristics of the system, as well as constraints imposed by the water managers. As an optimization model, our contention is that the LP model can be used to simulate the actions of optimizing agents (i.e., the water managers in South Florida). We compare the results of the LP model to those from the Object Routing Model (ORM), a computer program that has been developed and used by the SFWMD for the same purpose. The purpose of the comparison is to determine if the LP model can produce results similar to those of ORM, thereby giving support to the possibility of incorporating a linear programming component within the simulation model currently under development at the SFWMD.
dissertation or thesis