Monitoring global forest cover using data mining

Varun Mithal, Ashish Garg, Shyam Boriah, Michael Steinbach, Vipin Kumar, Christopher Potter, Steven Klooster, Juan Carlos Castilla-Rubio

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Forests are a critical component of the planet's ecosystem. Unfortunately, there has been significant degradation in forest cover over recent decades as a result of logging, conversion to crop, plantation, and pasture land, or disasters (natural or man made) such as forest fires, floods, and hurricanes. As a result, significant attention is being given to the sustainable use of forests. A key to effective forest management is quantifiable knowledge about changes in forest cover. This requires identification and characterization of changes and the discovery of the relationship between these changes and natural and anthropogenic variables. In this article, we present our preliminary efforts and achievements in addressing some of these tasks along with the challenges and opportunities that need to be addressed in the future. At a higher level, our goal is to provide an overview of the exciting opportunities and challenges in developing and applying data mining approaches to provide critical information for forest and land use management.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number36
JournalACM Transactions on Intelligent Systems and Technology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2011


  • Computational sustainability
  • Forest cover change
  • Land change
  • Remote sensing


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