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The Expert Support System As A Tool In Fishery Stock Assessment And Management

C. Stagg
Published 1990 · Business

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Expert systems (ES) are computer programs which make recommendations and draw conclusions from heuristic rules and from relationships derived out of human experience. A decision support system (DSS) is a computer-based management information system (MIS) linking one or more data bases to computer software for exploration and analysis of the data. Combined in a single system an ES and a DSS comprise an expert support system. A simple expert support system for use in fishery stock assessment and management is described. It demonstrates a number of practical benefits of the use of expert systems technology to implement and integrate some simple tasks, i.e., bioeconomic modelling, cost/benefit sampling analyses, and technical interpretation, namely: (1) the effects of different population structures and patterns of fishing on modelling results can be examined under the programmed guidance of the expert system; (2) the effects of different levels of sampling precision on modelling results can be similarly examined; (3) cost/benefit analyses of different sampling budgets can be examined; and (4) management advice specific to each sampling, surplus production (four different models), and net present value (NPV) case is given. An examination of the future of expert support systems in fishery stock assessment and management considers four possible levels of support, as follows: (1) to provide technical explanations, (2) to manage and catalog repetitive processes, (3) to guide “low-level decisions”, and (4) to contribute directly to strategic and policy decisions. Currently, movement in expert systems usage is toward so-called “embedded systems”, for example, an expert support system which comprises, in addition to computational models and databases, one or more expert systems. Problems related to the design and development of ESS for fishery stock assessment and management are challenging conceptual problems; the construction and programming of ESS are reasonably tractable tasks. Determining what an ESS will do is often the principle conceptual question. Expert support systems provide another tool for fishery stock assessment scientists and managers to increase their productivity.

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