Machine Learning a Probabilistic Network of Ecological Interactions
In this paper we demonstrate that machine learning (using Abductive ILP) can generate plausible and testable food webs from ecological data. In this approach, unlike previous applications of Abductive ILP, the abductive predicate ‘eats’ is entirely undefined before the start of the learning. We also explore a new approach, called Hypothesis Frequency Estimation (HFE), for estimating probabilities for hypothetical ‘eats’ facts based on their frequency of occurrence when randomly sampling the hypothesis space. The results of cross-validation tests suggest that the trophic networks with probabilities have higher predictive accuracies compared to the networks without probabilities. The proposed trophic networks have been examined by domain experts and comparison with the literature shows that many of the links are corroborated by the literature. In particular, links ascribed with high frequency are shown to correspond well with those having multiple references in the literature. In some cases novel high frequency links are suggested, which could be tested.
KeywordsPredictive Accuracy Ecological Data Ecological Interaction Inductive Logic Programming Multiple Reference
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.
- 1.Alexander, K.N.A.: The invertebrates of living and decaying timber in Britain and Ireland–a provisional annotated checklist. English Nature Research Reports 467, 1–142 (2002)Google Scholar
- 4.Berg, K.: The role of detrital subsidies for biological control by generalist predators evaluated by molecular gut content analysis. PhD thesis, Universitäts-und Landesbibliothek Darmstadt (2007)Google Scholar
- 5.Desender, K., Pollet, M.: Ecological data on clivina fossor (coleoptera, carabidae) from a pasture ecosystem. ii. reproduction, biometry, biomass, wing polymorphism and feeding ecology. Rev. Ecol. Biol. Sol. 22(2), 233–246 (1985)Google Scholar
- 8.Lindsey, J.: Ecology of Commanster, http://www.commanster.eu/commanster/insects/bugs/spbugs/saldula.saltatoria.html
- 9.Pons, X., Lumbierres, B., Albajes, R.: Heteropterans as aphid predators in inter-mountain alfalfa. European Journal of Entomology 106(3), 369–378 (2009)Google Scholar
- 10.Schaefer, C.W., Panizzi, A.R.: Heteroptera of economic importance. CRC (2000)Google Scholar
- 13.Toft, S.: The quality of aphids as food for generalist predators: implications for natural control of aphids. European Journal of Entomology 102(3), 371 (2005)Google Scholar
- 15.Warner, D.J., Allen-Williams, L.J., Warrington, S., Ferguson, A.W., Williams, I.H.: Mapping, characterisation, and comparison of the spatio-temporal distributions of cabbage stem ea beetle (psylliodes chrysocephala), carabids, and collembolan in a crop of winter oilseed rape (brassica napus). Entomologia Experimentalis et applicata 109(3), 225–234 (2003)CrossRefGoogle Scholar