ABC-BN: A tool for building, maintaining and using Bayesian networks in an environmental management application

Ann E. Nicholson, Owen Woodberry, Steven Mascaro, Kevin Korb, Adrian Moorrees, Alicia Lucas

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The Victorian state government Department of Sustainability and Environment has a web-based application called Actions for Biodiversity Conservation (ABC) as a central resource for managing over 400 threatened species and communities. ABC maintains information for species and communities at individual locations, including lists of threats (to species and communities), actions (to mitigate threats) and population and habitat factors. Here we describe an extension to ABC, a tool for building Bayesian networks for selected populations of threatened species and occurrences of threatened communities, to model the interactions between actions, threats and population and habitat factors. The tool, called ABC-BN, also allows users to do what-if scenario reasoning, and is integrated with ongoing monitoring and reporting. Unlike most ecological BN modelling to date, which typically takes months or years to produce a single, often complex, BN, for a specific problem, the aim here was to produce a tool that would facilitate the development, maintenance and use of a large number of quite simple standardized BNs, specialized for particular instances. We describe the incremental development of ABC-BN over 3 years. A prototype version was evaluated in 2009 by building models for 100 species, and the completed ABC-BN was deployed in April, 2011.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the Eighth UAI Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop (UAI-AW 2011)
EditorsAnn Nicholson
Place of PublicationAachen Germany
PublisherRheinisch-Westfaelische Technische Hochschule Aachen
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes
EventUAI Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop (BMAW 2011) - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 14 Jul 201114 Jul 2011
Conference number: 8th (CEUR Proceedings)


WorkshopUAI Bayesian Modeling Applications Workshop (BMAW 2011)
Abbreviated titleBMAW 2011
Internet address

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