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Application of classification trees and support vector machines to model the presence of macroinvertebrates in rivers in Vietnam
Thu Huong, H.; Lock, K.; Mouton, A.; Goethals, P.L.M. (2010). Application of classification trees and support vector machines to model the presence of macroinvertebrates in rivers in Vietnam. Ecological Informatics 5(2): 140-146. hdl.handle.net/10.1016/j.ecoinf.2009.12.001
In: Ecological Informatics. Elsevier: Amsterdam. ISSN 1574-9541, more
Peer reviewed article  

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Keyword
    Fresh water
Author keywords
    Bioassessment; Ecological modelling; River management

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Abstract
    In the present study, classification trees (CTs) and support vector machines (SVMs) were used to study habitat suitability for 30 macroinvertebrate taxa in the Du river in Northern Vietnam. The presence/absence of the 30 most common macroinvertebrate taxa was modelled based on 21 physical-chemical and structural variables. The predictive performance of the CT and SVM models was assessed based on the percentage of Correctly Classified Instances (CCI) and Cohen's kappa statistics. The results of the present study demonstrated that SVMs performed better than CTs. Attribute weighing in SVMs could replace the application of genetic algorithms for input variable selection. By weighing attributes, SVMs provided quantitative correlations between environmental variables and the occurrence of macroinvertebrates and thus allowed better ecological interpretation. SVMs thus proved to have a high potential when applied for decision-making in the context of river restoration and conservation management.

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