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Performance and acceptance evaluation of a knowledge-based SDSS for medfly area-wide control

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The performance evaluation of a spatial decision support system (SDSS) for medfly control in citrus in Israel, known as ‘MedCila’, is described. The performance was evaluated by considering four aspects: verification, validation, acceptance and effectiveness. For the performance evaluation of MedCila, a representative set of 420 real cases was collected. In addition, an expert panel was gathered to serve as ‘a reference level of expertise’ against which MedCila recommendations were compared. Various types of comparisons and cross-sections were made using the MedCila recommendations and the decisions of the zone managers to evaluate its performance. In general, MedCila was validated to provide an 80% proportion of success. For complex cases, it was validated to provide only 75% proportion of success. The results show that MedCila significantly reduces spraying actions by at least 8%, which is estimated to save 13.3 tons of chemicals and 250 000 US$ each year. MedCila may improve the effectiveness of the decision-making process of the zone managers by highlighting the trivial cases and by providing them with clear-cut recommendations. Moreover, decision-making in complex cases by using MedCila provides the option of using more data and information that may increase the willingness to take a risk and reduce spraying actions.
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Keywords: Ceratitis capitata; SDSS; acceptance; effectiveness; expert panel; validation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1:  Institute of Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural Research Organization (ARO), Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel 2:  Environment, Water and Agricultural Engineering, Faculty of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel 3:  The Israel Cohen Institute for Biological Control, PPMB – Citrus Division, Bet-Dagan, Israel

Publication date: 2008-12-01

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