Linear programming techniques provide an appropriate tool for solving reserve selection problems. Although this has long been known, most published analyses persist in the use of intuitive heuristics, which cannot guarantee the optimality of the solutions found. Here, we dispute two of the most common justifications for the use of intuitive heuristics, namely that optimisation techniques are too slow and cannot solve the most realistic selection problems. By presenting an overview of processing times obtained when solving a diversity of reserve selection problems, we demonstrate that most of those published could almost certainly be solved very quickly by standard optimisation software using current widely available computing technology. Even for those problems that take longer to solve, solutions with low levels of sub-optimality can be obtained quite quickly, presenting a better alternative to intuitive heuristics.
Biological Conservation – Elsevier
Published: Sep 1, 2002
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