Evaluating the potential of Genetic Programming as an exploratory data analysis in soil science.


Genetic Programming is a powerful optimization technique, able to deliver high-quality results in several real-world problems. One of its most successful applications is symbolic regression, where the objective is to find a suitable expression to model the underlying relationship between data points, with no aprioristic assumptions. In this paper, we propose the application of a Genetic Programming technique to a dataset on soil respiration and soil properties, in order to investigate possible influences of soil properties on soil respiration through symbolic regression. The best candidate models obtained by the technique are then studied to determine possible differences in the relationships related to environmental factors. Recurring patterns in the best solutions proposed by the search algorithm are identified, and the suitability of symbolic regression in soil science is evaluated and discussed. Genetic Programming proves to be an extremely promising data mining technique for soil scientists, as it is able to uncover relationships that could otherwise remain hidden, while remaining completely neutral and bias-free. We suggest its application for routine data analysis, as the technique presents particular interest for environmental modeling and development of pedotransfer functions.

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Preprints for Agriculture and Allied Sciences
Advisory Board
  • Leisa Armstrong, Edith Cowan University, Australia
  • Arianna Becerril García, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico, Redalyc/AmeliCA, Mexico
  • Susmita Das, Bangladesh Agricultural Research Council
  • Abeer Elhalwagi, National Gene Bank, Egypt
  • Gopinath KA, Central Research Institute for Dryland Agriculture
  • Niklaus Grünwald, USDA Agricultural Research Service
  • Sridhar Gutam, ICAR IIHR/Open Access India
  • Vinodh Ilangovan, Max Planck Institute for Biophysical Chemistry
  • Jayalakshmi M, ANGRAU, India
  • Khelif Karima, Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique d'Algérie
  • Dinesh Kumar, Indian Agricultural Statistics Research Institute
  • Satendra Kumar Singh, Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Devika P. Madalli, DRTC/Indian Statistical Institute, India
  • Prateek Mahalwar, Cellulosic Technologies UG, Germany
  • Bernard Pochet, University of Liège - Gembloux Agro-Bio Tech
  • Vassilis Protonotarios, NEUROPUBLIC
  • Andy Robinson, CABI
  • Paraj Shukla, King Saud University
  • Chandni Singh, Indian Institute for Human Settlements
  • Kuldeep Singh Jadon, ICAR-Central Arid Zone Research Institute, India
  • Rajeev K Varshney, CGIAR/ICRISAT, India
  • Sumant Vyas, ICAR- National Research Centre on Camel, India
  • Oya Yildirim Rieger, Ithaka S+R/ITHAKA, USA
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