Mechanistic models are often employed to simulate processes in coastal environments. However, these predictive tools are highly specialized, involve certain assumptions and limitations, and can be manipulated only by experienced engineers who have a thorough understanding of the underlying principles. This results in significant constraints on their manipulation as well as large gaps in understanding and expectations between the developers and users of a model.
Recent advancements in soft computing technologies make it possible to integrate machine learning capabilities into numerical modelling systems in order to bridge the gaps and lessen the demands on human experts. This book reviews the state-of-the-art in conventional coastal modelling as well as in the increasingly popular integration of various artificial intelligence technologies into coastal modelling. Conventional hydrodynamic and water quality modelling techniques comprise finite difference and finite element methods. The novel algorithms and methods include knowledge-based systems, genetic algorithms, artificial neural networks, and fuzzy inference systems.
Different soft computing methods contribute towards accurate and reliable prediction of coastal processes. Combining these techniques and harnessing their benefits has the potential to make extremely powerful modelling tools.