How long can an ecological model predict?
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Prediction of ecological phenomenon needs three components: a theoretical (or numerical) model based on the natural laws (physical, chemical, or biological), a sampling set of the reality, and a tolerance level. Comparison between the predicted and sampled values leads to the estimation of model error. In the error phase space, the prediction error is treated as a point; and the tolerance level (a prediction parameter) determines a tolerance ellipsoid. The prediction continues until the time when the error first exceeding the tolerance level (i.e., the error point first crossing the tolerance-ellipsoid). This time is called the first-passage time. Well-established theoretical framework such as the backward Fokker-Planck equation can be used to estimate the first-passage time-an up-time limit for any model prediction. A population dynamical system is used as an example to illustrate the concept and methodology and the dependence of the first-passage time on the model and prediction parameters.
The article of record as published may be found at https://doi.org/10.31031/EAES.2019.06.000631
RightsThis publication is a work of the U.S. Government as defined in Title 17, United States Code, Section 101. Copyright protection is not available for this work in the United States.
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