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The virtual analyst program: a small scale data-mining, error-analysis and reporting function

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5 Author(s)
Moser, W.K. ; USDA Forest Service, North Central Res. Station, St. Paul, MN, USA ; Hansen, M.H. ; Miles, P. ; Johnson, B.
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The forest inventory and analysis (FIA) program of the U.S.D.A. forest service conducts ongoing comprehensive inventories of the forest resources of the United States. Covering II states in the Upper Midwest, the North Central Region FIA (NCFIA) program has three tasks: (1) core reporting function, which produces the annual and 5-year inventory reports; (2) forest health measurements; and (3) scientific analysis of questions and themes that arise from our data. Annual reports provide updated views of the extent, composition, and change of a state's forests. These reports have a standard format divided into three broad categories of area, volume, and change. These annual reports also provide important early trend alerts and error checking functions. Data stored in the FIA database provide the "raw material" that analysts use to prepare the reports. The virtual analyst program at NCFIA is designed to serve these multiple needs. Incorporating our understanding of important trends and relationships, and "redflags" to be aware of this program seeks to automate the more repetitive functions of producing reports while highlighting any anomalies that may require an analyst's investigation. This paper discusses the underlying program logic and design of the prototype. We work backwards from the Web-based application product (.Net Technology) to information-generating vehicles that connect to the forest inventory database. Finally, we discuss the opportunity to expand this report-writing function into a customized, user-defined data query and analysis function.

Published in:

Database and Expert Systems Applications, 2005. Proceedings. Sixteenth International Workshop on

Date of Conference:

22-26 Aug. 2005