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Knowledge discovery from soil maps using inductive learning

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This paper develops a knowledge discovery procedure for extracting knowledge of soil-landscape models from a soil map. It has broad relevance to knowledge discovery from other natural resource maps. The procedure consists of four major steps: data preparation, data preprocessing, pattern extraction, and knowledge consolidation. In order to recover true expert knowledge from the error-prone soil maps, our study pays specific attention to the reduction of representation noise in soil maps. The data preprocessing step has exhibited an important role in obtaining greater accuracy. A specific method for sampling pixels based on modes of environmental histograms has proven to be effective in terms of reducing noise and constructing representative sample sets. Three inductive learning algorithms, the See5 decision tree algorithm, Naïve Bayes, and artificial neural network, are investigated for a comparison concerning learning accuracy and result comprehensibility. See5 proves to be an accurate method and produces the most comprehensible results, which are consistent with the rules (expert knowledge) used in producing the soil map. The incorporation of spatial information into the knowledge discovery process is found not only to improve the accuracy of the extracted knowledge, but also to add to the explicitness and extensiveness of the extracted soil-landscape model.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Geography University of Wisconsin-Madison 550 North Park Street Madison WI 53706 USA, Email: [email protected] 2: State Key Laboratory of Resources and Environmental Information System Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research Chinese Academy of Sciences Building 917, Datun Road, An Wai Beijing 100101 China, Email: [email protected]

Publication date: December 1, 2003

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