The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

MSc Thesis #9806

Title:A Knowledge-based System to Model Thinnings in Central European Forests
Date: 1998
Abstract:The introduction of new objectives in forest management in recent years has led to an increased demand for forest management tools to develop and evaluate silvicultural scenarios. An essential part of these are thinning models which predict the outcome of thinnings, regarded as one of the most influential silvicultural techniques. This project addresses problems observed in existing models and descriptions of thinnings in general, namely their reliability and operationality, and presents an alternative approach.The first part of this work proposes a rule-based representation of thinnings, which models at a more detailed level than hitherto, the decision procedures employed by a forester carrying out a thinning. The model is implemented in Prolog and developed on the basis of actual data of a thinning carried out by a forester in a beech-spruce forest in Germany.The second part presents a case-based extension to the rule-based approach, in an attempt to cope with the heterogeneity of forests. Its main part is a meta-interpreter written in Prolog that allows the adaptation of a generic set of thinning rules from the first approach according to a known thinning outcome in a tree group.

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