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Increasing the robustness of natural resource management research by using multiple methods

Frey, Ulrich (2018) Increasing the robustness of natural resource management research by using multiple methods. European Social Simulation Conference, 20-24.8.2018, Stockholm.

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Research on natural resource management like fisheries, irrigation systems or forestry traditionally uses case studies, providing us with a rich, in-depth perspective on many single systems. This comes with a disadvantage - lacking comparability. One reason for that is a multitude of methods used. If, for example, the drivers for ecological success in irrigation systems are to be identified, disagreements between studies may be due to differences in the variables examined, their operationalization or, precisely the methods used. To my knowledge, there is no study in the natural resource management and social-ecological systems literature that analyses the influence of method choice on the results. Therefore, we use a high-quality data set, the Nepal Irrigation Institutions and Systems database (NIIS), developed at the Ostrom Workshop, of 263 cases with each record having information on around 600 variables. With that data set we test the influence of methods on the results, i.e. the relevance of well-known concepts for success in natural resource management, like participation of users, relations with other groups, etc. We use multivariate linear regressions (MLR), random forests (RF), gradient boosting (GBM), shallow neural networks (SNN) and deep neural networks (DNN). The results indicate that although some agreements exist across methods, there are substantial differences as well. We see this research as a step towards increasing the robustness of results and improving the generalisability and reproducibility of natural resource management research.

Item URL in elib:https://elib.dlr.de/128580/
Document Type:Conference or Workshop Item (Speech)
Title:Increasing the robustness of natural resource management research by using multiple methods
AuthorsInstitution or Email of AuthorsAuthor's ORCID iD
Frey, UlrichUlrich.Frey (at) dlr.deUNSPECIFIED
Refereed publication:Yes
Open Access:No
Gold Open Access:No
In ISI Web of Science:No
Keywords:natural resource management; sustainability; machine learning
Event Title:European Social Simulation Conference
Event Location:Stockholm
Event Type:international Conference
Event Dates:20-24.8.2018
HGF - Research field:Energy
HGF - Program:Technology, Innovation and Society
HGF - Program Themes:Renewable Energy and Material Resources for Sustainable Futures - Integrating at Different Scales
DLR - Research area:Energy
DLR - Program:E SY - Energy Systems Analysis
DLR - Research theme (Project):E - Systems Analysis and Technology Assessment (old)
Location: Stuttgart
Institutes and Institutions:Institute of Engineering Thermodynamics > Energy Systems Analysis
Deposited By: Frey, Ulrich
Deposited On:22 Aug 2019 16:04
Last Modified:22 Aug 2019 16:04

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