Evaluation of a shadow price search heuristic as an alternative to linear programming or binary search for timber harvest scheduling Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/b5644t88n

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  • The planning of harvests and management activities for forested lands has traditionally been done with either binary search or linear programming. Since both these techniques have some advantages over the other, they have remained in wide use. Hoganson and Rose (1984) have suggested a technique that theoretically could overcome some of the problems with binary search and linear programming while retaining many of their desirable characteristics. The technique uses shadow prices to guide the search for harvest levels in each period to meet certain goals. This study develops a new set of shadow price search procedures and makes a comparison between these three different harvest scheduling techniques. The comparisons were made by constructing a PASCAL computer model that gives the user a choice of solving harvest scheduling problems with either binary search or this new method, that will be referred to as "shadow price search". The computer program MIJSYC was used for the linear program formulations. Three example were solved by each of these methods. The results showed that linear programming and shadow price search produced solutions with similar harvest patterns among stands and present net worths that were close in value. Binary search found very different harvest patterns and consistently lower present net worths than either of the other two methods. Solution times for shadow price search were greater than binary search, but still less than linear programming solution times. Shadow price search seems a promising alternative to the traditional approaches for harvest scheduling problems with many timber stands and few constraints. For these problems, it's major drawback is occasional difficulty in converging on the optimal solution. Future research may solve this problem.
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