The doctoral thesis “Assessment of the paradigm of agents in the management of a complex wastewater treatment system” was defended by its author Marta Verdaguer Planas in December 2012 and supervised by Dr. Manel Poch and Dr. Narcís Clara (UdG). The work is framed within LEQUIA research line on Environmental Decision Support Systems (EDSS).
The thesis presents and evaluates the application of the paradigm of agents to the management of the urban wastewater system. The system is conceptualised as a multi-agent system from the development of the models of agents and communication paths. In the development, it has become obvious that coordination (of volumes and pollutant loads) between all the wastewater treatment inputs and the available capacity of the treatment is a key point in the system’s performance. To consider this factor, a coordinating agent is defined. This agent executes the coordination of inputs and the prioritisation of industrial wastewaters when the treatment does not have sufficient available capacity. The prioritisation is solved by a meta-heuristic of ant colony optimisation, which has been instantiated by four algorithmic versions. Finally, the system has been implemented and consecutive cycles of simulation have been executed with the conclusion that the paradigm of agents is a feasible proposal.