Intelligent geographic information systems and integrated pest management
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Research in integrated pest management (IPM) has resulted in the development of an immense knowledge base that requires computer-aided methodologies for integration, interpretation and delivery. Examined in this paper are four issues of concern to decision-making and problem-solving for IPM. First, the IPM enterprise is examined in the context of contemporary landscape ecology principles. The functional unit for IPM is defined to be the ecotope (a term intended to embody concepts of ecosystem functionality in the context of topographical dimension). A landscape consists of a mosaic of interacting ecotopes. The scope of IPM extends beyond forest and farm management and includes issues associated with environmental management. Second, the utility of geographic information systems (GISs) for IPM is considered. GISs add a new dimension to IPM in that they provide a mechanism for dealing with site-specific and spatially referenced data. The addition of methodologies from artificial intelligence expert systems, in particular, permits integration of qualitative knowledge of human experts with quantitative information that is the product of research. The resulting software system is termed an intelligent geographic information system, IGIS. This system allows for automated interpretation within and among landscape data themes. The product is an interpretative map or a tabular report. Third, utility of the IGIS approach is illustrated by an example involving habitat delineation for an endangered species, the Houston toad. In this example a simple rulebase is developed that defines habitat locations that would be suitable for the toad. Fourth, a concept and method for integrating the different types of knowledge available for IPM (published research results and reports, spatial and tabular databases, simulation models, and observations and experiences of human experts) is described. This software system, the knowledge system environment, retains the unique features of an IGIS but is more useful in that it employs the full measure of knowledge available from IPM. With new technology from computer science and concepts from information engineering, it has been possible to formulate a new conceptual model of IPM that incorporates both the information systems needed as well as the activities required for implementation of IPM. 1992.
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