A brute force approach to vegetation classification

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Authors Sebastian Schmidtlein, Lubomír Tichý, Hannes Feilhauer, Ulrike Faude
Journal/Conference Name JOURNAL OF VEGETATION SCIENCE
Paper Category
Paper Abstract Introduction of a novel approach to the classification of vegetation data (species by plot matrices). This approach copes with a large amount of noise, groups irregularly shaped in attribute space and species turnover within groups. Method The proposed algorithm (Isopam) is based on the classification of ordination scores from isometric feature mapping. Ordination and classification are repeated in a search for either high overall fidelity of species to groups of sites, or high quantity and quality of indicator species for groups of sites. The classification is performed either as a hierarchical, divisive method or as non-hierarchical partitioning. In divisive clustering, resulting groups are subdivided until a stopping criterion is met. Isopam was tested on 20 real-world data sets. The resulting classifications were compared with solutions from eight widely used clustering algorithms. Results When looking at the significance of species fidelities to groups of sites, and at quantity and quality of indicator species, Isopam often achieved high ranks as compared with other algorithms.
Date of publication 2010
Code Programming Language R
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