CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

An expert system for the prediction of environmental impacts of a logging operation in southeast Alaska

Date of Award

1992

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Computer Education

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

John Kingsbury

Committee Member

P. Adams

Committee Member

Molly O. Cublyra

Abstract

A computerized expert system was constructed for the prediction of environmental impacts resulting from a single clear-cut logging operation in Southeast Alaska. The knowledge base for the system was derived from the pertinent literature and from practicing professionals in the fields of forestry, wildlife, hydrology, soils, and biology. The system contains 62 if –then rules and operates on MS-DOS personal computers with at least 640 K of random access memory and a high-density disk drive. The system gathers input information about the proposed clear-cut operation by asking 22 yes or no questions to which it responds with qualitative predictions of the environmental impacts in the areas of soils, streams, fisheries, biodiversity, and wildlife.

The system was validated by additional experts and prospective users to be accurate and easy to use, specific predictions are limited so however, the depth of the system may be inappropriate for intensive environmental impact assessment. The system was determined by the reviewers to be very appropriate for educational uses and broad-based initial management decision-making.

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