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Sensitivity of forest plan value to parameters of simulated annealing

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Abstract:

Simulated annealing (SA) is a heuristic technique popular in forest planning, providing solutions close to optimality in reduced computation time. The present study challenges the common approach used to establish the parameters of SA that mimic physical processes by proving that slow cooling or large initial temperatures do not necessarily lead to optimal solutions. The study has two objectives: (1) to identify the parameters (i.e., initial temperature and annealing rate) that could supply close to optimal results with reduced experimentation time and (2) to assess the impact of parameters determining SA performances. Using three forest inventory data sets from British Columbia, we investigated the influence of initial temperature, annealing rate, and numbers of runs on forest planning solutions using a replicated completely randomized design organized as a factorial experiment within a repeated-measures framework. The optimal solution seems to be little influenced by the number of runs; our findings indicate that the combination of initial temperature and rate of annealing is critical in obtaining superior results. Furthermore, the selection of the SA parameters seems to be dependent on the harvest age, which indicates that the parameters should be selected considering whether or not a stand is harvested more than once during the planning period.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/cjfr-2012-0277

Affiliations: Department of Bioinformatics, National Institute of Research and Development for Biological Sciences, Splaiul Independen├żei nr. 296, Sector 6, 060031, Bucharest, Romania

Publication date: January 1, 2013

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  • Published since 1971, this monthly journal features articles, reviews, notes and commentaries on all aspects of forest science, including biometrics and mensuration, conservation, disturbance, ecology, economics, entomology, fire, genetics, management, operations, pathology, physiology, policy, remote sensing, social science, soil, silviculture, wildlife and wood science, contributed by internationally respected scientists. It also publishes special issues dedicated to a topic of current interest.
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