Spanish Journal of Agricultural Research 2009 7(3), 687-698
Simulation of farmer decision on land use conversions using decision
tree method in Jiangsu Province, China
T. Y. Zhong1, X. Y. Zhang2, and X. J. Huang1*
1 School of Geographic and Oceanographic Sciences, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.
2 International Institute for Earth System Science, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China.
Understanding farmer decisions on land use conversions (LUC) in rural areas has significant importance to understand and predict the patterns of land use changes in China. Many methods have been developed to search for the influencing factors on land use changes at farm household level. However, these methods have difficulty in evaluating the intertwined influences between factors and achieving farmer decision rules on LUC. Taking three regions located in Jiangsu Province as the study areas, the present work proposed a data mining method, classification and regression tree (CART), to simulate farmer decisions on LUC at farm household level. The accuracy of the simulated LUC by CART was above 85.00%, indicating that the proposed method could be used to simulate farmer decisions. The simulation results also showed that farmer decision rules on LUC presented regional characteristics. In Jiangsu Province, 20 rules were inferred for LUC using 10 factors which were related to the household resources, land market, and so on. These factors were ranked in the decreased importance on LUC as labor transfer, land market, location, resources of household, and characteristics of household. In Rudong County, the which were related factors with LUC included land market, labor transfer, and household resource, while in Changshu County, the additional factor of location was involved.
Additional key words: classification and regression tree, determinants of rural land conversions, farm household level,regional differences.
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