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  1. Abstract

    There is demand for scalable algorithms capable of clustering and analyzing large time series data. The Kohonen self-organizing map (SOM) is an unsupervised artificial neural network for clustering, visualizing, and reducing the dimensionality of complex data. Like all clustering methods, it requires a measure of similarity between input data (in this work time series). Dynamic time warping (DTW) is one such measure, and a top performer that accommodates distortions when aligning time series. Despite its popularity in clustering, DTW is limited in practice because the runtime complexity is quadratic with the length of the time series. To address this, we present a new a self-organizing map for clustering TIME Series, called SOMTimeS, which uses DTW as the distance measure. The method has similar accuracy compared with other DTW-based clustering algorithms, yet scales better and runs faster. The computational performance stems from the pruning of unnecessary DTW computations during the SOM’s training phase. For comparison, we implement a similar pruning strategy for K-means, and call the latter K-TimeS. SOMTimeS and K-TimeS pruned 43% and 50% of the total DTW computations, respectively. Pruning effectiveness, accuracy, execution time and scalability are evaluated using 112 benchmark time series datasets from the UC Riverside classification archive, and show that for similar accuracy, a 1.8$$\times$$×speed-up on average for SOMTimeS and K-TimeS, respectively with that rates vary between 1$$\times$$×and 18$$\times$$×depending on the dataset. We also apply SOMTimeS to a healthcare study of patient-clinician serious illness conversations to demonstrate the algorithm’s utility with complex, temporally sequenced natural language.

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  2. Abstract Because the manual counting of soybean ( Glycine max ) plants, pods, and seeds/pods is unsuitable for soybean yield predictions, alternative methods are desired. Therefore, the objective was to determine if satellite remote sensing − based artificial intelligence (AI) models could be used to predict soybean yield. In the study, multiple remote sensing − based AI models were developed for soybean growth stage ranging from VE/VC (plant emergence) to R6/R7 (full seed to beginning maturity). The ability of the Deep Neural Network (DNN), Support Vector Machine (SVM), Random Forest (RF), Least Absolute Shrinkage and Selection Operator (LASSO), and AdaBoost to predict soybean yield, based on blue, green, red, and near infrared reflectance data collected by the PlanetScope satellite at 6 growth stages, was determined. Remote sensing and soybean yield monitor data from 3 different fields in two years (2019 and 2021) were aggregated into 24,282 grid cells that had the dimensions of 10 by 10m. A comparison across models showed that the DNN outperformed the other models. Moreover, as crops matured from VE/VC to R4/R5, the R 2 value of the models increased from 0.26 to over 0.70. These findings indicate that remote sensing data collected at different growth stages can be combined for soybean yield predictions. Moreover, additional work needs to be conducted to assess the model's ability to predict soybean yield with vegetation indices (VI) data for fields not used to train the model. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved 
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  3. Abstract

    Precision agriculture (PA) has been defined as a “management strategy that gathers, processes and analyzes temporal, spatial and individual data and combines it with other information to support management decisions according to estimated variability for improved resource use efficiency, productivity, quality, profitability and sustainability of agricultural production.” This definition suggests that because PA should simultaneously increase food production and reduce the environmental footprint, the barriers to adoption of PA should be explored. These barriers include (1) the financial constraints associated with adopting decision support system (DSS); (2) the hesitancy of farmers to change from their trusted advisor to a computer program that often behaves as a black box; (3) questions about data ownership and privacy; and (4) the lack of a trained workforce to provide the necessary training to implement DSSs on individual farms. This paper also discusses the lessons learned from successful and unsuccessful efforts to implement DSSs, the importance of communication with end users during DSS development, and potential career opportunities that DSSs are creating in PA.

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  4. Abstract

    Artificial intelligence (AI) represents technologies with human‐like cognitive abilities to learn, perform, and make decisions. AI in precision agriculture (PA) enables farmers and farm managers to deploy highly targeted and precise farming practices based on site‐specific agroclimatic field measurements. The foundational and applied development of AI has matured considerably over the last 30 years. The time is now right to engage seriously with the ethics and responsible practice of AI for the well‐being of farmers and farm managers. In this paper, we identify and discuss both challenges and opportunities for improving farmers’ trust in those providing AI solutions for PA. We highlight that farmers’ trust can be moderated by how the benefits and risks of AI are perceived, shared, and distributed. We propose four recommendations for improving farmers’ trust. First, AI developers should improve model transparency and explainability. Second, clear responsibility and accountability should be assigned to AI decisions. Third, concerns about the fairness of AI need to be overcome to improve human‐machine partnerships in agriculture. Finally, regulation and voluntary compliance of data ownership, privacy, and security are needed, if AI systems are to become accepted and used by farmers.

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  5. Abstract

    Centuries of human development have altered the connectivity of rivers, adversely impacting ecosystems and the services they provide. Significant investments in natural resource projects are made annually with the goal of restoring function to degraded rivers and floodplains and protecting freshwater resources. Yet restoration projects often fall short of their objectives, in part due to the lack of systems‐based strategic planning. To evaluate channel‐floodplain (dis)connectivity and erosion/incision hazard at the basin scale, we calculate Specific Stream Power (SSP), an estimate of the energy of a river, using a topographically based, low‐complexity hydraulic model. Other basin‐wide SSP modeling approaches neglect reach‐specific geometric information embedded in Digital Elevation Models. Our approach leverages this information to generate reach‐specific SSP‐flow curves. We extract measures from these curves that describe (dis)connected floodwater storage capacity and erosion hazard at individual design storm flood stages and demonstrate how these measures may be used to identify watershed‐scale patterns in connectivity. We show proof‐of‐concept using 25 reaches in the Mad River watershed in central Vermont and demonstrate that the SSP results have acceptable agreement with a well‐calibrated process‐based model (2D Hydraulic Engineering Center's River Analysis System) across a broad range of design events. While systems‐based planning of regional restoration and conservation activities has been limited, largely due to computational and human resource requirements, measures derived from low‐complexity models can provide an overview of reach‐scale conditions at the regional level and aid planners in identifying areas for further restoration and/or conservation assessments.

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  6. null (Ed.)
    Understanding and predicting catchment responses to a regional disturbance is difficult because catchments are spatially heterogeneous systems that exhibit unique moderating characteristics. Changes in precipitation composition in the Northeastern U.S. is one prominent example, where reduction in wet and dry deposition is hypothesized to have caused increased dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export from many northern hemisphere forested catchments; however, findings from different locations contradict each other. Using shifts in acid deposition as a test case, we illustrate an iterative “process and pattern” approach to investigate the role of catchment characteristics in modulating the steam DOC response. We use a novel dataset that integrates regional and catchment-scale atmospheric deposition data, catchment characteristics and co-located stream Q and stream chemistry data. We use these data to investigate opportunities and limitations of a pattern-to-process approach where we explore regional patterns of reduced acid deposition, catchment characteristics and stream DOC response and specific soil processes at select locations. For pattern investigation, we quantify long-term trends of flow-adjusted DOC concentrations in stream water, along with wet deposition trends in sulfate, for USGS headwater catchments using Seasonal Kendall tests and then compare trend results to catchment attributes. Our investigation of climatic, topographic, and hydrologic catchment attributes vs. directionality of DOC trends suggests soil depth and catchment connectivity as possible modulating factors for DOC concentrations. This informed our process-to-pattern investigation, in which we experimentally simulated increased and decreased acid deposition on soil cores from catchments of contrasting long-term DOC response [Sleepers River Research Watershed (SRRW) for long-term increases in DOC and the Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO) for long-term decreases in DOC]. SRRW soils generally released more DOC than SSHCZO soils and losses into recovery solutions were higher. Scanning electron microscope imaging indicates a significant DOC contribution from destabilizing soil aggregates mostly from hydrologically disconnected landscape positions. Results from this work illustrate the value of an iterative process and pattern approach to understand catchment-scale response to regional disturbance and suggest opportunities for further investigations. 
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  7. null (Ed.)
  8. Abstract

    Excessive phosphorus (P) export to aquatic ecosystems can lead to impaired water quality. There is a growing interest among watershed managers in using restored wetlands to retain P from agricultural landscapes and improve water quality. We develop a novel framework for prioritizing wetland restoration at a regional scale. The framework uses an ecosystem service model and an optimization algorithm that maximizes P reduction for given levels of restoration cost. Applying our framework in the Lake Champlain Basin, we find that wetland restoration can reduce P export by 2.6% for a budget of $50 M and 5.1% for a budget of $200 M. Sensitivity analysis shows that using finer spatial resolution data for P sources results in twice the P reduction benefits at a similar cost by capturing hot-spots on the landscape. We identify 890 wetlands that occur in more than 75% of all optimal scenarios and represent priorities for restoration. Most of these wetlands are smaller than 7 ha with contributing area less than 100 ha and are located within 200 m of streams. Our approach provides a simple yet robust tool for targeting restoration efforts at regional scales and is readily adaptable to other restoration strategies.

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