A Bayesian network approach to modelling temporal behaviour of Lyngbya majuscula bloom initiation

Johnson, Sandra & Mengersen, Kerrie (2009) A Bayesian network approach to modelling temporal behaviour of Lyngbya majuscula bloom initiation. In Anderssen, R.S., Braddock, R.D., & Newham, L.T.H (Eds.) Proceedings of the 18th World IMACS Congress and MODSIM09 International Congress on Modelling and Simulation, Modelling and Simulation Society of Australia and New Zealand and International Association for Mathematics and Computers in Simulation, Cairns, QLD, pp. 4255-4261.

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Lyngbya majuscula is a cyanobacterium (blue-green algae) occurring naturally in tropical and subtropical coastal areas worldwide. Deception Bay, in Northern Moreton Bay, Queensland, has a history of Lyngbya blooms, and forms a case study for this investigation.

The South East Queensland (SEQ) Healthy Waterways Partnership, collaboration between government, industry, research and the community, was formed to address issues affecting the health of the river catchments and waterways of South East Queensland. The Partnership coordinated the Lyngbya Research and Management Program (2005-2007) which culminated in a Coastal Algal Blooms (CAB) Action Plan for harmful and nuisance algal blooms, such as Lyngbya majuscula. This first phase of the project was predominantly of a scientific nature and also facilitated the collection of additional data to better understand Lyngbya blooms. The second phase of this project, SEQ Healthy Waterways Strategy 2007-2012, is now underway to implement the CAB Action Plan and as such is more management focussed.

As part of the first phase of the project, a Science model for the initiation of a Lyngbya bloom was built using Bayesian Networks (BN). The structure of the Science Bayesian Network was built by the Lyngbya Science Working Group (LSWG) which was drawn from diverse disciplines. The BN was then quantified with annual data and expert knowledge. Scenario testing confirmed the expected temporal nature of bloom initiation and it was recommended that the next version of the BN be extended to take this into account. Elicitation for this BN thus occurred at three levels: design, quantification and verification. The first level involved construction of the conceptual model itself, definition of the nodes within the model and identification of sources of information to quantify the nodes. The second level included elicitation of expert opinion and representation of this information in a form suitable for inclusion in the BN. The third and final level concerned the specification of scenarios used to verify the model.

The second phase of the project provides the opportunity to update the network with the newly collected detailed data obtained during the previous phase of the project. Specifically the temporal nature of Lyngbya blooms is of interest. Management efforts need to be directed to the most vulnerable periods to bloom initiation in the Bay. To model the temporal aspects of Lyngbya we are using Object Oriented Bayesian networks (OOBN) to create ‘time slices’ for each of the periods of interest during the summer. OOBNs provide a framework to simplify knowledge representation and facilitate reuse of nodes and network fragments. An OOBN is more hierarchical than a traditional BN with any sub-network able to contain other sub-networks. Connectivity between OOBNs is an important feature and allows information flow between the time slices.

This study demonstrates more sophisticated use of expert information within Bayesian networks, which combine expert knowledge with data (categorized using expert-defined thresholds) within an expert-defined model structure. Based on the results from the verification process the experts are able to target areas requiring greater precision and those exhibiting temporal behaviour. The time slices incorporate the data for that time period for each of the temporal nodes (instead of using the annual data from the previous static Science BN) and include lag effects to allow the effect from one time slice to flow to the next time slice. We demonstrate a concurrent steady increase in the probability of initiation of a Lyngbya bloom and conclude that the inclusion of temporal aspects in the BN model is consistent with the perceptions of Lyngbya behaviour held by the stakeholders. This extended model provides a more accurate representation of the increased risk of algal blooms in the summer months and show that the opinions elicited to inform a static BN can be readily extended to a dynamic OOBN, providing more comprehensive information for decision makers.

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ID Code: 64611
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Algal bloom, Lyngbya majuscula, Bayesian belief network, BN, Object oriented, OOBN
ISBN: 9780975840078
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > STATISTICS (010400)
Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES (050000)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2009 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 19 Nov 2013 22:33
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2014 13:36

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