Researchers from IIT-Madras and Harvard University develop machine learning algorithm to fight poaching

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras, in collaboration with Harvard University, have developed a new machine learning algorithm named “CombSGPO” (Combined Security Game Policy Optimization) to help save wildlife from poaching. IIT Madras, in a statement, said researchers have found that the combined and coordinated use of Forest Rangers and drones is a good way to protect wildlife from poaching.

“As the resources (Rangers and drones) are limited, the researchers developed this algorithm which provides a good strategy to protect wildlife with the available resources. This new algorithm provides very efficient and more scalable strategies than the previous ones created in the same purpose,” the institute said. The algorithm, according to IIT-M, works by managing resource allocation and building patrol strategies after the extent of available resources has been identified. For this task, the algorithm uses data on the animal population in the conserved area and assumes that poachers are aware of patrols being carried out at various sites.

Prof. Balaraman Ravindran, Mindtree Faculty Member and Professor, Department of Computer Science and Engineering, IIT Madras, and Director, Robert Bosch Center for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBCDSAI), IIT Madras, collaborated with Professor Milind Tambe’s research group – Teamcore – at Harvard University, USA to carry out this study. Highlighting the need for such research, Ravindran said the work was driven by the need to carry out strategic resource allocation and patrols in green security areas to prevent illegal activities such as wildlife poaching. , illegal logging and illegal fishing.

“The resources we consider are human patrollers (rangers) and surveillance drones, which are equipped with object detectors for animals and poachers and can perform strategic signals and communicate with each other as well as with the patrollers. humans,” he added. This developed algorithm uses a model based on game theory created by the researchers.

According to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the wildlife trade is the second greatest direct threat to the survival of species after habitat destruction. While several organizations and regulatory authorities are trying to curb the incidences of poaching, poachers seem to have always been one step ahead of patrollers. This collaborative research work carried out by two reputable universities will help control poaching incidents. (ANI)

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Sherry J. Basler