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Title: Optimal control of an invasive species with imperfect information about the level of infestation

Author: Haight, Robert G.; Polasky, Stephen.

Date: 2010

Source: Resource and Energy Economics. 32: 519-533.

Publication Series: Journal/Magazine Article (JRNL)

Description: The presence of invasive species is often not realized until well after the species becomes established. Discovering the location and extent of infestation before the invasive species causes widespread damage typically requires intensive monitoring efforts. In this paper, we analyze the problem of controlling an invasive species when there is imperfect information about the degree of infestation. We model the problem as a partially observable Markov decision process in which the decision-maker receives an imperfect signal about the level of infestation. The decision-maker then chooses a management action to minimize expected costs based on beliefs about the level of infestation. We apply this model to a simple application with three possible levels of infestation where the decision-maker can choose to take no action, only monitor, only treat, or do both monitoring and treatment jointly. We solve for optimal management as a function of beliefs about the level of infestation.

Keywords: invasive species, monitoring, optimal management, dynamic programming, partially observable Markov decision process

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Citation:


Haight, Robert G.; Polasky, Stephen. 2010. Optimal control of an invasive species with imperfect information about the level of infestation. Resource and Energy Economics. 32: 519-533.

 


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