Salford Systems Helps Forecast Alaska’s Ecosystem in the 22nd Century
SAN DIEGO - Dr. Falk Huettmann, a wildlife ecologist and professor at the University of Alaska-Fairbanks, has written a report entitled Future of Alaska in which he forecasts how climate change, human activities, natural disasters and cataclysmic events might affect Alaska's ecosystem over the next 100 years.
The report presents a range of possible futures and scenarios based on real data that land managers, government agencies, communities, businesses, academics and non-profits can assess. By providing a unique and useful way to evaluate how climate change, habitat change and consumption impacts Alaska's ecosystems, the report will guide those concerned in making better management and sustainability decisions for oceans, wildlife, endangered species and humans alike.
Dr. Huettmann was required to analyze and examine over 400 species of animals, innumerable plant species, diseases and wildly diverse landscape biomes (including arctic tundra, coastal tundra plains, mountain and alpine areas), deciduous forests, arboreal forests, coastal rainforests and the interior. The large number of variables, the nonlinear interactions and the ungainly size of the compiled database proved too complex for ordinary predictive modeling software programs.
Previously, Dr. Huettmann had worked with Salford Systems' CART® (Classification and Regression Trees) and MARS® (Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines) and TreeNet® data mining software in his biodiversity and mapping studies. For the Future of Alaska project he added Salford Systems' RandomForests® predictive software.
As Dr. Huettmann explained, "RandomForests is extremely well-suited to handle data based on GIS, spatial and temporal data. It delivers the high degree of accuracy and generalization required for our study, something other solutions couldn't achieve because of the immense size of the database and the statistical interactions involved. It achieves this with amazing speed. Also important, RandomForests software works in conjunction with languages such as Java and Python, and with outputs from science programs such as GCMs to provide a single and automated workflow."
Dr. Huettmann includes students in many of his studies worldwide. He noted, "I only have students for a limited time, so when we use predictive modeling software, I want them working, not struggling to use the software in the remotest corner of the world or in the classroom. The sophisticated GUI interface and software support Salford Systems uses in its predictive modeling software makes their programs very easy to use without sacrificing accuracy or generalization."
Another determining factor was Salford Systems' customer support. "They helped us install and set up the program to achieve progress," Dr. Huettmann concluded. "Someone was always available to answer questions, which is vitally important when working with students...and when the professor runs out of answers. Their customer support and developer team includes some of the most knowledgeable people I've ever had the privilege to work with."
About Salford Systems
Founded in 1983, Salford Systems specializes in providing new-generation data mining and predictive modeling software and consulting services for industries such as banking, insurance, healthcare, pharmaceutical, telecommunications, transportation, manufacturing, retail and catalog sales, and education. The company's CART®, MARS®, TreeNet® and RandomForests® data mining software is currently installed in over 3,500 sites worldwide, including 300 major universities. Salford Systems is headquartered in San Diego, CA. For more information, visit http://www.salford-systems.com or telephone (619) 543-8880.
lsolomon (at) salford-systems (dot) com