An Optimal stopping approach to the conservation of biodiversity

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Title: An Optimal stopping approach to the conservation of biodiversity
Author: Batabyal, Amitrajeet
Abstract: In the past two decades, a considerable amount of concern has been expressed in academic and nonacademic circles about the decline in the world's diverse biological resources. Recently, Swanson (in: Biodiversity Loss: Economic and Ecological Issues. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1995) has suggested that the problem of biodiversity loss is really a problem of regulating the natural habitat conversion process in which naturally existing species have systematically been replaced by human chosen ones. In this way of looking at the problem, a decision making's central task is to determine the optimal point at which this conversion process should be halted. In this paper, I show how the theory of optimal stopping can be applied to model the biodiversity loss problem as described above. Specifically, I pose the underlying conservation question within the framework of a Markov decision process. I then show how to determine the optimal point at which this conversion process should be halted.
Description: RIT community members may access full-text via RIT Libraries licensed databases: http://library.rit.edu/databases/
Record URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1850/9399
Publishers URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/S0304-3800(97)00164-6
Date: 1998

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