Summary and Outlook

It is obviously impossible to capture the vast amount of literature available on the general topic of optimization methods, or even those covering applied optimization techniques in ecological and environmental modeling in depth. The following books and journal papers listed have been extremely helpful in our work and we will thus recommend them for further reading. Since the development of models based on GAs has formed a significant part of our recent work, this is reflected in the selection and should provide an excellent introduction into the subject.

In general, the application of ever more complex models and algorithms has benefited from the development of faster and more powerful computers. At the same time, geographical information systems (GISs) have become more widely used to introduce models with geo-referenced datasets. This adds a spatial domain into optimization tasks and in this context, an additional dimension to the solution of many optimization problems in ecological and environmental modeling. In air quality modeling, the issue of an optimal reduction strategy, for instance, is no longer a mere optimization of pollutant emissions, but has an explicit aspect of where and when to reduce. It is beyond the scope of this article to fully explore the implications and limitations of spatial optimization, but it is an important field for new developments.

See also: Air Quality Modeling; Simulated Annealing.

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