THINEX - an expert system for estimating forest harvesting productivity and cost
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As the emphasis of forest stand management shifts towards implementing ecosystem management, managers are examining alternative methods to harvesting stands in order to accomplish multiple objectives by using techniques such as shelterwood harvests, thinnings, and group selection methods, thus leaving more residual trees to improve the visual quality of the harvested land. Contemporary harvesting practices require the creative use of existing cable and ground-based technology. Silvicultural operations such as group selection methods, shelterwood harvests, partial cuts and thinnings require substantial planning in order to realize a profitable logging endeavor. THIN-PC is a personal computer based version of the original THIN developed by Chris B. LeDoux and David A. Butler in 1981. THIN and THIN-PC are computer simulation models, which evaluate the single- stage pre-bunch and swing methods of cable yarding. THINEX, the expert system developed as a result of this research, uses the results from THIN-PC and allows planners, managers, loggers to evaluate, plan, and execute profitable harvesting practices and permit effective sensitivity analysis by linking the terrain data with the production system information. Using THINEX, the user will be able to analyze several kinds of scenarios pertaining to a stand of trees and their harvesting resulting in the acquisition of production rate and cost values.
KeywordsExpert systems, Artificial Intelligence, Knowledge Based Systems, Forestry, Harvesting Productivity and Cost, Forest Stand Simulation
LeDoux, C. B.; Gopalakrishnan, B.; Pabba, R. S. 1998. THINEX - an expert system for estimating forest harvesting productivity and cost. SPIE 3517:262-272