Prof. Emma Hart and Dr Kevin Sim win Bronze Award in International Humies competition for work on predicting wind damage in Forestry

The Annual Humies prize is awarded at the International Conference on Genetic and Evolutionary Computation for human-competitive results that have been produced by any form of genetic and evolutionary computation.

Prof. Hart and Dr Sim were awarded the Bronze Medal in Kyoto, Japan for work on improving computational models to predict damage to individual trees in forests during a storm

Date posted

19 July 2018

Working with colleagues Prof. Barry Gardiner (INRA, France) and Dr Kana Kamimura (Shinshu, Japan) , Prof. Hart and Dr Sim developed a novel method to improve predictive models to identify trees likely to be damaged in major storms: these models help forest planners develop policies for forest management that minimise wind-damage risk.

Their approach used a technique called Genetic Programming to evolve an expanded feature set that was combined with an existing classifier. When tested on data obtained following catastrophic storms in the South-West of France, the new model was able to predict damage to individual trees with up to 90% accuracy.

The research was first published in GECCO 2017 in Berlin.