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Expert system homes in on forest foes.

Expert system homes in on forest foes

Two scientists have developed computer software to recognize certain signs, symptoms and circumstances suggestive of pest infestation of red pines in order to diagnose which of 28 forest pests are responsible for the damage. The software, endowed with the knowledge of forest experts, represents the most comprehensive forest pest diagnostic program yet developed, says Daniel L. Schmoldt of the USDA Forest Service in Riverside, Calif.

The program proved significantly better than two trained foresters when asked to point out the most likely mammalian, insect, pathogenic or environmental perpetrators of the observed pine ills. The IBM-compatible PREDICT "is able to improve the diagnoses of field foresters to a level comparable to experts," conclude Schmoldt and George L. Martin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the June FOREST SCIENCE.
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Title Annotation:Biology
Publication:Science News
Article Type:Product/Service Evaluation
Date:Jul 8, 1989
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