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Entropy 2013, 15(3), 972-987; doi:10.3390/e15030972

Information Properties of Boundary Line Models for N2O Emissions from Agricultural Soils

1
Crop and Soil Systems, SRUC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh, EH9 3JG, UK
2
Division of Science Delivery, Department of Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts, GPO Box 5078, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
3
Carbon Management Centre, SRUC, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG, UK
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 January 2013 / Revised: 25 February 2013 / Accepted: 27 February 2013 / Published: 5 March 2013
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Information Theory in the Geosciences)
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Abstract

Boundary line models for N2O emissions from agricultural soils provide a means of estimating emissions within defined ranges. Boundary line models partition a two-dimensional region of parameter space into sub-regions by means of thresholds based on relationships between N2O emissions and explanatory variables, typically using soil data available from laboratory or field studies. Such models are intermediate in complexity between the use of IPCC emission factors and complex process-based models. Model calibration involves characterizing the extent to which observed data are correctly forecast. Writing the numerical results from graphical two-threshold boundary line models as 3×3 prediction-realization tables facilitates calculation of expected mutual information, a measure of the amount of information about the observations contained in the forecasts. Whereas mutual information characterizes the performance of a forecaster averaged over all forecast categories, specific information and relative entropy both characterize aspects of the amount of information contained in particular forecasts. We calculate and interpret these information quantities for experimental N2O emissions data.
Keywords: nitrous oxide; emissions; boundary line model; agricultural soils; expected mutual information; normalized mutual information; specific information; relative entropy nitrous oxide; emissions; boundary line model; agricultural soils; expected mutual information; normalized mutual information; specific information; relative entropy
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Topp, C.F.; Wang, W.; Cloy, J.M.; Rees, R.M.; Hughes, G. Information Properties of Boundary Line Models for N2O Emissions from Agricultural Soils. Entropy 2013, 15, 972-987.

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