Nav: Home

The behavior of coral reefs is simulated in order to optimize space in industrial plants

July 31, 2020

Many factors must be kept in mind when designing a hospital, a factory, a shopping center or any industrial plant, and many questions can arise before deciding on the floor plans. What is the best placement for each different space? What distribution is the most appropriate in order to improve efficiency in these large areas? University of Cordoba researchers Laura García and Lorenzo Salas are trying to provide an answer to these questions, and to do so, they have turned to the marine world to simulate the behavior of coral reefs.

Within these picturesque underwater structures, holding a wide range of species biodiversity, there is a constant battle for space, where available hollows are fully optimized in pursuit of survival. It is precisely this natural distribution model that has led the way for this research team, who over the last few years has been working towards answering the following question: What is the best solution when designing the layout of an industrial plant?

The first to incorporate the behavior of these coral reefs into a computer algorithm was researcher Sancho Salcedo, at the University of Alcalá de Henares, in 2013. Since then, and stemming from a partnership, the team established a line of research inspired by the life and reproduction of these living beings in order to make the most of space. Recently, the group published a new article that improves upon this bio-inspired algorithm. "Instead of simulating a flat coral reef, as we had done previously, we were able to replicate the structure in three dimensions, making it possible to come up with many more solutions and offer better results", explains lead author of the research, Laura García.

In the real world, the algorithm is able to offer novel designs that had not been assessed before and new floor plans for how an industrial plant could look when space is optimized to the utmost, resulting in saving money and improving the efficiency of these buildings. To do so, after validating the new tool in different industrial areas such as a slaughterhouse, paper and plastic recycling plants and buildings of up to 60 departments, the algorithm is capable of factoring in different variables such as distribution, amount of material, the cost of moving said material from one place to another, noises to avoid and necessary parameters of proximity and remoteness.

An algorithm that includes subjective preferences

In this respect, over the last few months the team has published other work that delves deeper into the same line of research in highly regarded scientific journals. Recently, the group was able to incorporate an interactive tool into the algorithm that includes subjective preferences in the design. "By means of a device that analyzes the way the person in charge of designing the project looks at the floor plans and the degree to which their pupil is dilated, their opinion can be transmitted to the floor plans being proposed", underscores Laura García.

The research carried out over the last few months, in which other UCO professors such as José Antonio García, Carlos Carmona and Adoración Antolí also participated, made it possible to establish partnerships with universities in Portugal, Saudi Arabia and the United States, with contributions from José Valente de Oliveira (at the University of Algarve), Sancho Salcedo Sanz (at the University of Alcalá de Henares) and Ajith Abraham (at Machine Intelligence Research Labs).
-end-


University of Córdoba

Related Coral Reefs Articles:

Mysterious glowing coral reefs are fighting to recover
A new study by the University of Southampton has revealed why some corals exhibit a dazzling colorful display, instead of turning white, when they suffer 'coral bleaching' -- a condition which can devastate reefs and is caused by ocean warming.
Can coral reefs 'have it all'?
A new study outlines how strategic placement of no-fishing marine reserves can help coral reef fish communities thrive.
Coral reefs 'weathering' the pressure of globalization
More information about the effects human activities have on Southeast Asian coral reefs has been revealed, with researchers looking at how large-scale global pressures, combined with the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) climate pattern, can detrimentally impact these delicate marine ecosystems.
Coral reefs: Centuries of human impact
In her AAAS talk, ASU researcher Katie Cramer outlines the evidence of the long-ago human footprints that set the stage for the recent coral reef die-offs we are witnessing today.
Large 'herbivores of the sea' help keep coral reefs healthy
Selective fishing can disrupt the delicate balance maintained between corals and algae in embattled Caribbean coral reefs.
How microbes reflect the health of coral reefs
Microorganisms play important roles in the health and protection of coral reefs, yet exploring these connections can be difficult due to the lack of unspoiled reef systems throughout the global ocean.
3-D printed coral could help endangered reefs
Threats to coral reefs are everywhere--rising water temperatures, ocean acidification, coral bleaching, fishing and other human activities.
Actions to save coral reefs could benefit all ecosystems
Scientists say bolder actions to protect the world's coral reefs will benefit all ecosystems, human livelihoods and improve food security.
Coral reefs shifting away from equator
Coral reefs are retreating from equatorial waters and establishing new reefs in more temperate regions, according to new research in the journal Marine Ecology Progress Series.
Protecting coral reefs in a deteriorating environment
A new report examines novel approaches for saving coral reefs imperiled by climate change, and how local decision-makers can assess the risks and benefits of intervention.
More Coral Reefs News and Coral Reefs Current Events

Trending Science News

Current Coronavirus (COVID-19) News

Top Science Podcasts

We have hand picked the top science podcasts of 2020.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Our Relationship With Water
We need water to live. But with rising seas and so many lacking clean water – water is in crisis and so are we. This hour, TED speakers explore ideas around restoring our relationship with water. Guests on the show include legal scholar Kelsey Leonard, artist LaToya Ruby Frazier, and community organizer Colette Pichon Battle.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#569 Facing Fear
What do you fear? I mean really fear? Well, ok, maybe right now that's tough. We're living in a new age and definition of fear. But what do we do about it? Eva Holland has faced her fears, including trauma and phobia. She lived to tell the tale and write a book: "Nerve: Adventures in the Science of Fear".
Now Playing: Radiolab

Uncounted
First things first: our very own Latif Nasser has an exciting new show on Netflix. He talks to Jad about the hidden forces of the world that connect us all. Then, with an eye on the upcoming election, we take a look back: at two pieces from More Perfect Season 3 about Constitutional amendments that determine who gets to vote. Former Radiolab producer Julia Longoria takes us to Washington, D.C. The capital is at the heart of our democracy, but it's not a state, and it wasn't until the 23rd Amendment that its people got the right to vote for president. But that still left DC without full representation in Congress; D.C. sends a "non-voting delegate" to the House. Julia profiles that delegate, Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton, and her unique approach to fighting for power in a virtually powerless role. Second, Radiolab producer Sarah Qari looks at a current fight to lower the US voting age to 16 that harkens back to the fight for the 26th Amendment in the 1960s. Eighteen-year-olds at the time argued that if they were old enough to be drafted to fight in the War, they were old enough to have a voice in our democracy. But what about today, when even younger Americans are finding themselves at the center of national political debates? Does it mean we should lower the voting age even further? This episode was reported and produced by Julia Longoria and Sarah Qari. Check out Latif Nasser's new Netflix show Connected here. Support Radiolab today at Radiolab.org/donate.