, Volume 79, Issue 2, pp 167-182
Date: 20 Sep 2013

Modeling land suitability/capability using fuzzy evaluation

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Abstract

Modeling the suitability of land to support specific land uses is an important and common GIS application. Three classic models, specifically pass/fail screening, graduated screening and weighted linear combination, are examined within a more general framework defined by fuzzy logic theory. The rationale underlying each model is explained using the concepts of fuzzy intersections, fuzzy unions and fuzzy averaging operations. These fuzzy implementations of the three classic models are then operationalized and used to analyze the distribution of kudzu in the conterminous United States. The fuzzy models achieve better predictive accuracies than their classic counterparts. By incorporating fuzzy suitability membership of environment factors in the modeling process, these fuzzy models also produce more informative fuzzy suitability maps. Through a defuzzification process, these fuzzy maps can be converted into conventional maps with clearly defined boundaries, suitable for use by individuals uncomfortable with fuzzy results.