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Designing an Evolution Program for Solving Integer Forest Management Scheduling Models: An Application in Portugal

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In this article, basic concepts of both genetic algorithms and evolution program design are presented. An evolution program is presented to solve a Model I harvest scheduling problem with 0-1 decision variables for the management alternatives for each stand, with annual constraints on harvested volume. An appropriate data structure (i.e., chromosome representation) is presented, as well as modified selection, crossover, and mutation strategies specially designed for application to large forest scheduling problems. Emphasis is on designing an efficient evolution program to address the complexity of large integer problem model solving and to provide both strategic and operational guidance to forest managers. A new stopping criterion for this iterative heuristic based on the asymptotic behavior of the evolution process is further presented. The new evolution program is applied to a two-product timber harvest scheduling problem in Portugal with a temporal horizon extending to seventy 1 yr periods. Results from 50 test computer runs are discussed for application to this large problem encompassing approximately 122,000 binary integer variables and 1,000 constraints. Statistic analysis of the convergence process suggests that the evolution program may seek optimal solutions at reasonable computational cost. Results thus suggest that evolutionary techniques may be used to confront the complexity of integer forest management scheduling model solving. FOR. SCI. 47(2):158–168.

Keywords: Forest management; combinatorial optimization; environmental management; evolution programs; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; genetic algorithms; heuristics; natural resource management; natural resources

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Ph.D. student Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Tapada da Ajuda, 1349-017, Lisboa, Portugal, Phone: 351 21 3653366; Fax: 351 21 3645000 2: Assistant Professor Departamento de Engenharia Florestal, Phone: 351 21 3653486; Fax: 351 21 3645000

Publication date: May 1, 2001

More about this publication?
  • Forest Science is a peer-reviewed journal publishing fundamental and applied research that explores all aspects of natural and social sciences as they apply to the function and management of the forested ecosystems of the world. Topics include silviculture, forest management, biometrics, economics, entomology & pathology, fire & fuels management, forest ecology, genetics & tree improvement, geospatial technologies, harvesting & utilization, landscape ecology, operations research, forest policy, physiology, recreation, social sciences, soils & hydrology, and wildlife management.
    Forest Science is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December.

    2015 Impact Factor: 1.702
    Ranking: 16 of 66 in forestry

    Also published by SAF:
    Journal of Forestry
    Other SAF Publications
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