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Journal Article

Citation

Lopes AM, Tenreiro Machado JA. PLoS One 2014; 9(8): e105465.

Affiliation

Institute of Engineering, Polytechnic of Porto, Porto, Portugal.

Copyright

(Copyright © 2014, Public Library of Science)

DOI

10.1371/journal.pone.0105465

PMID

25137393

Abstract

This paper analyses forest fires in the perspective of dynamical systems. Forest fires exhibit complex correlations in size, space and time, revealing features often present in complex systems, such as the absence of a characteristic length-scale, or the emergence of long range correlations and persistent memory. This study addresses a public domain forest fires catalogue, containing information of events for Portugal, during the period from 1980 up to 2012. The data is analysed in an annual basis, modelling the occurrences as sequences of Dirac impulses with amplitude proportional to the burnt area. First, we consider mutual information to correlate annual patterns. We use visualization trees, generated by hierarchical clustering algorithms, in order to compare and to extract relationships among the data. Second, we adopt the Multidimensional Scaling (MDS) visualization tool. MDS generates maps where each object corresponds to a point. Objects that are perceived to be similar to each other are placed on the map forming clusters. The results are analysed in order to extract relationships among the data and to identify forest fire patterns.


Language: en

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