Book Reviews—holiday reading (not!)

Three reviews, of Neural Nets in Oil and Gas, Spatial Metadata Standards and RFID Essentials.

Neural Networks and Soft Computing in the Oil Industry* promises ‘an in-depth, yet easy to read’, introduction to the subject and its application to geoscience. We found the first chapter, on neural nets, rather hard going and, contrary to the book’s stated intent, free of oil and gas examples. Other chapters, on fuzzy logic and genetic algorithms are equally short on oil and gas-related material. In general the explanations of both techniques fall short of public domain sources, notably Wikipedia, now a benchmark for technical writers. The book includes reproductions of three articles from the EAGE’s First Break with a greater industry focus. But you’ll need a magnifying glass to get the most out of the small type. CD-ROMs of dGB’s OpendTect package and a large sample data set are included.


World Spatial Metadata Standards** is a worthy if mostly unreadable tome but it does beat Wikipedia which is silent on the subject! The first chapters introduce the concepts of metadata and its various regional flavors. The chapter on ISO/TC211 is marginally informative, but the bulk of the book is a collection of questionnaire responses from national metadata authorities. These plethoric lists and the ‘database dump’ format would have been better presented on a website.


RFID Essentials*** offers a no-nonsense introduction to the industrial application of radio frequency identification technology and its data standards. RFID Essentials gives Wikipedia more than a good run for the money. Of the three, this is the one that we would take to the beach!

* ISBN 90-73781-50-7 by Fred Aminzadeh and Paul de Groot. EAGE 2006.

** ISBN 0-08-0439-49-7 by Harold Mollering et al.. Elsevier 2006.

*** ISBN 0-596-00944-5 by Bill Glover and Himanshu Bhatt. O’Reilly 2006.

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