Jane Brennan received her PhD in Computer Science and Engineering (Artificial Intelligence/Information Systems) from the University of New South Wales in May 2009. Since 1994, as part of her Masters Thesis research and later part of her work as an academic and PhD candidate, she had worked in the field of spatial reasoning and knowledge representation with a particular interest in spatial cognition, formalising of qualitative spatial notions and spatial reasoning in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). Her PhD research on modelling spatial proximity was characterised by being cognitively motivated, providing formalisations and then seeking to apply these formalisations in practical setting. These settings then shifted from the original road travel optimisation to the environmental domain. Due to Jane's strong interest in environmental sustainability and following an internship with the geodata group at the Environmental Ministry of the German state of Lower Saxony in 2008, Jane's research agenda is now based in the area of Environmental Information Systems with a focus on Geographic Information. Her major interests are spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena such as water runoff and land use, and facilitating the study of the man-land relationship through information systems approaches.After finishing her HSC, Jane did a one year internship as a computing trainee in Lubmin in East Germany and then studied Computer Science (with sub-major in Business Administration; specialising in Artificial Intelligence) at the University of Technology Chemnitz-Zwickau from 09/90 to 06/95. During this time she spent one year (92/93) in the UK at the University of Kent at Canterbury. Jane also spent several months at the University of Hamburg, where a great deal of her master thesis was written in collaboration with the Knowledge and Language Processing Group (WSV).After coming to Australia in 1995, Jane worked as an Omnimark programmer for CCH Australia Ltd for two years before moving on to the University of New South Wales to recommence her research activities; with the Artificial Intelligence Group in the School of Computer Science and Engineering (CSE). During her time there, she worked as a tutor for CSE, as a writing assistant/tutor for the UNSW Learning Centre and was employed as an Associate Lecturer with CSE from 2002-2003. Since 2004, Jane has worked at UTS as a Lecturer: initially with the Department of Information Systems in the Faculty of Information Technology, and since June 2008 with the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering in the joined Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology.
UNIVERSITY-BASED ACTIVITIES:Centre for Environmental Sustainability
Can supervise: YES
My research agenda is based in the area of Environmental Information Systems with a focus on Geographic Information. My major interests are spatial analysis of natural and human phenomena such as water runoff and land use, and facilitating the study of the man-land relationship through information systems approaches.POTENTIAL STUDENT TOPICS:Geographic Information Systems (GIS):
- spatial reasoning in GIS,
- use of GIS/geodata in civil and environmental engineering;
Environmental Information Systems (EIS):
- use of geodata in EIS,
- EIS principles and applications
At UTS I have previously taught Information Systems subjects such as "Introduction to Information Systems", "Networked Enterprise Architecture" and "IT Professional and Society". Prior to this, at UNSW I was involved in a whole range of computer science subjects including Programming, Computer Networks, Artificial Intelligence and "Communications and Management Skills for Research".My current teaching duties are as subject coordinator for "49257 Geographic Information Systems" and as GIS lecturer and laboratory tutor for "48310 Introduction to Civil Engineering", as well as lecturing in GIS in the subjects "49126 Environmental Management of Land" and "48350 Environmental and Sanitation Engineering".
Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J 2018, Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation —De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information ?, Update Sciences Technologies, Éditions Quae, Versailles.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
La perte de terres agricoles liées à l’urbanisationconstitue l’une des facettes de la consommation des terres. Commencé dans lesannées 1970, ce phénomène – essentiellement dû à l’étalement urbain –prend des proportions jusque-là inégalées. Les conséquences de ces processusd’artificialisation sont multiples et portent à la fois sur la production etsur la sécurité alimentaire ainsi que sur la perte de biodiversité. Cesprocessus interrogent aussi les formes de solidarité territoriale entre lesvilles et les espaces péri-urbains et ruraux.
Issu d’une collaboration scientifique lancée au début desannées 2010 entre l’Université de technologie de Sydney (University ofTechnology Sydney, UTS) et l’Institut national de recherche en sciences ettechnologies pour l’environnement et l’agriculture (Irstea), cet ouvrage abordedes points clés de la problématique de la consommation des terres en sefocalisant sur les terres agricoles en France et en Australie. Plutôt que d’offrirune analyse comparative approfondie de la planification des terres agricolespériurbaines entre les deux pays, il propose une exploration des « boîtesà outils » de l’ingénierie territoriale développées et mobilisées pourfaire face à l’enjeu de la perte de terres agricoles liée à l’urbanisation. Iloffre également un « arrêt sur image » dans un panorama de champs derecherche en pleine évolution, autant du point de vue théorique queméthodologique.
Brennan, J & Martin, EA 2012, 'Spatial proximity is more than just a distance measure', International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, vol. 70, no. 1, pp. 88-106.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
In order to design computer systems that are intuitive to use, the way humans reason about their âreal worldâ surroundings needs to be taken into consideration. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) focus on spatial reasoning. Over the last decades, many advances have been made in GIS interfaces and functionality; however the concept of proximity or nearness, which is essential in many forms of human reasoning, is still being addressed insufficiently. This paper provides a thorough and comprehensive synthesis of the disparate literature that pertains to the subject of proximity. It offers insights into why existing methods for reasoning with proximity work, or do not work, and analyses their strengths and weaknesses. Finally, the paper provides the derivation of new proximity measures, and their evaluation, backed by experiments and reflections. New measures are formally described in a unifying and compelling framework. This framework acknowledges that while distance is one factor that influences proximity perception, proximity is much more than just a distance measure.
Nicoletti, MDC & Brennan, J 2002, 'Learning spatial relations using an inductive logic programming system', Computing and Informatics, vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 17-36.
The ability to learn spatial relations is a prerequisite for performing many relevant tasks such as those associated with motion, orientation, navigation, etc. This paper reports on using an Inductive Logic Programmming (ILP) system for learning function-free Horn-clause descriptions of spatial knowledge. Its main contribution, however, is to show that an existing relation between two reference systems - the speaker-relative and the absolute - can be automatically learned by an ILP system, given the proper background knowledge and positive examples.
Brennan, J & Murrell, A 2018, 'La disponibilité des données sur les sols en Australie' in Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J (eds), Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information ?, Quae, pp. 91-106.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
This chapter takes a closer look at both the extent to which urban sprawl and soil sealing are already mapped in Australia, and the accessibility of soil information through soil databases such as the New South Wales Soil and Land Information System (SALIS). Urban sprawl and associated soil sealing are a worldwide phenomenon, which greatly affects the availability of agricultural land. Hence, land use planning requires a far greater understanding of these phenomena and consideration of soil quality than what is currently the practise. In order to make soil information more accessible, it can be used to create soil landscape maps incorporating constraints and limitations imposed by different soil and geological conditions. Soil capability maps are examples for this, and provide easily accessible information on soil quality for planners.
Plant, RA, Maurel, P, Ruoso, LE, Barbe, E & Brennan, J 2018, 'Synthèse : de la donnée à l’intelligence collective sur les terres agricoles péri-urbaines – quels rôles pour l’information, les savoirs et l’action ?' in Plant, R, Maurel, P, Barbe, E & Brennan, J (eds), Les terres agricoles face à l’urbanisation —De la donnée à l’action, quels rôles pour l’information ?, Éditions Quae, Versailles.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Keeping peri-urban farmland and associated activities close to growing urban centers is a global concern. In the face of ever-increasing demand for land development, the challenge of conserving peri-urban farmland - our main concern in this book - continues to be debated.
The recent literature presents various initiatives that have, or could be, adopted to protect and conserve these lands. For example, Akimowicz et al. (2016) have critically assessed the merits of the Greenbelt Act in Ontario (USA) regarding farmers' adaptation and investment strategies. Inwood and Sharp (2012) reported on the resilience of farms in peri-urban areas by studying the succession patterns and adaptation of farms in the United States. As such, this study does not propose initiatives that could be put in place to protect and conserve peri-urban agricultural land, but rather an analysis of how to explain the maintenance of farms in peri-urban areas. From the study of conflicts around agricultural uses in the Greater Paris region, Darly and Torre (2013) analyze the experiences of farmers and the media coverage of, and present innovative mechanisms for conflict resolution.
Brennan, J, Ding, G, Wonschik, C-R & Vessalas, K 2014, 'A closed-loop system of Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling', Proceedings of the 31st International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction and Mining, International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, University of Technology, Sydney, 15 Broadway, Ultimo NSW 2007, Australia, Sydney, Australia, pp. 499-505.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This study discusses the construction and demolition waste recycling stream both in Australia and in Germany. Differences and commonalities in commercial practices between the two countries are outlined, and open research questions are introduced. Following McDonough and Braungart’s cradle-to-cradle theorem, and ideal closed-loop system within the building life cycle is proposed. Deficiencies and efficiencies in the closed-loop system are reported and assessed and related parameters promoting or hindering the closed-loop system are evaluated. Results of the study demonstrate that reusable and non-reusable materials generated from construction and demolition operations, which are destined for landfill, are categorized differently between the recycling systems used in Australia and Germany.
Wonschik, C-R, Brennan, J, Ding, G, Heilmann, A & Vessalas, K 2014, 'Implications of legal frameworks on construction and demolition waste recycling - a comparative study of the German and Australian systems', Proceedings: ISARC 2014, International Symposium on Automation and Robotics in Construction, The International Association for Automation and Robotics in Construction (IAARC), Sydney, Australia, pp. 523-530.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This comparative study between German and Australian legislation demonstrates that legal frameworks impact on the way in which recycling systems work. Both Australia and Germany operate as Federations and the autonomy of states influences common federation wide practices and standards. In Germany’s case however, it is obliged to comply with European Union guidelines which result in German federal legislation being binding for all German states and to common industry practices across all of Germany. Purely industry regulated systems are not always sufficient to cater for societal and environmental needs, and political intervention can sometimes be necessary to achieve desired outcomes. The construction and demolition (C&D) waste recycling industry is a good example. In Australia C&D waste recycling is mostly industry regulated, while the state has greater influence in Germany. A statistical analysis illustrates legislative impact on recycling outcomes. Nonetheless, any legislative efforts can also have effects contrary to the intended ones. A study of such cases is conducted and other influencing factors also considered. In conclusion, the study outlines the importance of interstate coordination and regulation; and the need for the incorporation of industry requirements and other potentially influencing factors into the legal frameworks in order to meet desired outcomes.
Brennan, J, Andrea, H & Pundt, H 2012, 'An Information Systems Approach to Developing Adaptation Strategies', Proceedings of the European, Mediterranean & Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems 2012 (EMCIS2012), European, Mediterranean and Middle Eastern Conference on Information Systems, ISEing, Munich, Germany, pp. 231-241.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
The aim of this paper is to develop an Information Systems approach that helps overcome the limitations of self-organised networks and enables coordination amongst its stakeholders. Developing Climate Change Adaptation Strategies (CCAS) often involves loosely connected stakeholders, which in turn results in a largely self-organised network. This is in stark contrast to Romsdahlâs findings that the development of CCAS requires coordinated networks. In want for an appropriate means to coordinate the work of mainly self-organised networks; networked enterprises are examined to transfer its techniques into the CCAS domain. Workspaces and Portals are discussed and their potential role as an Environmental Information System (EIS) demonstrated. A case study on CCAS Regional Development is outlined to illustrate the concepts introduced.
Brennan, J & Martin, EA 2006, 'Membership Functions for Spatial Proximity', AI 2006: Advances in Artificial Intelligence, Australasian Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, Springer, Hobart, Australia, pp. 942-949.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
Formalising nearness has been the subject of extensive work, resulting in many membership functions based on absolute distance metrics, relative distance metrics, and combinations of those. The possible strengths and weaknesses of these functions have been discussed and argued at length, but strangely enough, no experiment seems to have been conducted to assess the merits and shortcomings of competing approaches. Conducting such experiments can be expected not only to provide an objective evaluation of the various measures that have been proposed, but also to suggest new measures that outperform all those being analysed. This paper fulfills these expectations, and gives further evidence that fuzzy logic provides fruitful and powerful methods to formalise qualitative reasoning and capture fundamental qualitative notions. The proposed fuzzy membership functions can be directly used in qualitative reasoning about spatial proximity in Geographic Information Systems, which are becoming more and more important in software development for diverse purposes such as Tourist Information Systems or property development.
Lee, J & Brennan, J 2006, 'Intelligent GIS Automatic generation of qualitative spatial information', Advances In Applied Artificial Intelligence, Proceedings, Lecture Notes in Computer Science, International Conference on Industrial and Engineering Applications of Artificial Intelligence and Expert Systems, Springer-Verlag Berlin, France, pp. 898-907.View/Download from: UTS OPUS or Publisher's site
This paper reports on an extension to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) that can intelligently analyse and record qualitative information of the surrounding area when adding a feature to a map. This recorded qualitative spatial information can be util
Brennan, J, Martin, EA & Kim, M 2004, 'Developing an ontology of Spatial Relations', Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design III, Visual and Spatial Reasoning in Design, Key Centre of Design Computing and Cognition, MIT,Cambridge, USA, pp. 163-182.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Chua, B & Brennan, J 2004, 'Enhancing Collaborative Knowledge Management Systems Designs', Proceedings 5th European Conference on Knowledge Management, European Conference on Knowledge Management, Academic Conferences International, Paris, France, pp. 171-179.View/Download from: UTS OPUS
Brennan, J & Martin, E 2002, 'Foundations for a formalism of nearness', Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence (Subseries of Lecture Notes in Computer Science), pp. 71-82.
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2002. Reasoning about your spatial environment can be a challenging task, especially when you are a robot trying to rely solely on quantitative measures. With nearness being such a vague concept, a qualitative representation is an obvious choice offering a wider range of possible values. This paper introduces a qualitative representation for spatial proximity that accounts for absolute binary nearness relations. The formalism is based on the notion of perceived points, called sites, in a point based universe. Proximity concepts are determined by the parameters of distance between two sites and weight of each of those sites. These parameters were drawn from the concept of Generalised Voronoi Diagrams. Cognitively useful models and interpretations of our formalism are shown in both a navigation and a natural language context.
Brennan, J 1999, 'Spatial universals as the human spatial notion', Lecture Notes in Computer Science (including subseries Lecture Notes in Artificial Intelligence and Lecture Notes in Bioinformatics), pp. 90-96.View/Download from: Publisher's site
© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999. Peirce (CP 2.753) suggests that humans possess an inherited notion of space, which amongst other notions allows them to adapt to the environment. This paper discusses a conceptual graph approach to defining such spatial notions (i.e. spatial universals) as a finite set of canonical graphs and suggests its use to derive a potentially infinite number of canonical graphs. Our approach is illustrated by a bilingual example.