CS/INFO 6702 Topics in Computational Sustainability


Computer Science and Information Science

Spring 2010

Cornell University


Instructor: Carla Gomes


Faculty Team: Jon Conrad,  Steve Ellner, Carla Gomes, and  Mary Lou Zeeman


Teaching Assistants: Bistra Dilkina and Georgios Piliouras


Web page: http://www.cs.cornell.edu/Courses/cs6702/2010sp/



Suggested Readings


·       Natural Resource Protection


    • Reserve design, site selection, and fish barrier removal (constraint satisfaction & optimization)


A graph-theory framework for evaluating landscape connectivity and conservation planning. (link)

Emily Minor, Dean Urban (2008)

Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology 22 (2) p. 297-307


Where to put things? spatial land management to sustain biodiversity and economic returns.. Polasky, S., Erik Nelson, Jeff Camm, Blair Csuti, Paul Fackler, Eric Lonsdorf, Claire Montgomery, Denis White, Jeff Arthur, Brian GarberYonts, Robert Haight, Jimmy Kagan, Anthony Starfield, and Claudine Tobalske. 2008. Biological Conservation, 141(6):1505 – 1524.


Spatial attributes and reserve design models: A review. Williams, J., Charles ReVelle, and Simon Levin. 2005. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, 10:163–181(19).


Connections in networks: Hardness of feasibility versus optimality. Conrad, J., C. Gomes, W.-J. van Hoeve, A. Sabharwal, and J. Suter. 2007. Proceedings of the Fourth International Conference on the Integration of AI and OR Techniques Constraint Programming, pages 16–28, Brussels, Belgium.


Connections in Networks: A Hybrid Approach  Carla Gomes, Willem van Hoeve and Ashish Sabharwal.  CPAIOR07. Proc. of the International Conference on Integration of AI and OR Techniques in Constraint Programming for Combinatorial Optimization Problems. Paris, May 2008. PDF


Dynamic reserve site selection under contagion risk of deforestation (link)
Sabbadin, R., Spring, D. & Rabier, C. 2007. Ecological Modelling, Vol. 201(1), pp. 75 - 81



Optimizing dispersal corridors for the cape proteaceae using network flow

Steven J. Phillips, Paul Williams, Guy Midgley, and Aaron Archer

Ecological Applications: Vol. 18, No. 5, pp. 1200-1211.




Optimizing the removal of small fish passage barriers. Environmental Modeling and Assessment, J. R. O’Hanley and D. Tomberlin. 10:85–98, 2005.



Optimizing Fish Passage Barrier Removal Using Mixed Integer Linear Programming
Carla P. Gomes, Ashish Sabharwal, Crocs09


Wildlife Corridor Design: connections to Computer Science
Bistra Dilkina, Carla P. Gomes, Crocs09


    • Ecosystems (machine learning and large scale climate modeling)


Elith, J. Catherine H. Graham, Robert P. Anderson, Miroslav Dudik, Simon Ferrier, Antoine Guisan, Robert J. Hijmans, Falk Huettmann, John R. Leathwick, Anthony Lehmann, Jin Li, Lucia G. Lohmann, Bette A. Loiselle, Glenn Manion, Craig Moritz, Miguel Nakamura, Yoshinori Nakazawa, Jacob McC. Overton, A. Townsend Peterson, Steven J. Phillips, Karen Richardson, Ricardo Scachetti-Pereira, Robert E. Schapire, Jorge Sobero´n, Stephen Williams, Mary S. Wisz and Niklaus E. Zimmermann. 2006. Novel methods improve prediction of species' distributions from occurrence data. Ecography, 29: 129-151.



Maximum entropy modeling of species geographic distributions. link  
Phillips SJ, Anderson RP, Schapire RE,
Ecological Modeling 190[3-4]: 231-59, 25 January 2006


Mining citizen science data to predict orevalence of wild bird species. (link)
Caruana, R., Elhawary, M., Munson, A., Riedewald, M., Sorokina, D., Fink, D., Hochachka, W. M., and Kelling, S.
KDD 2006.


Machine learning in ecosystem informatics and sustainability. (link)
Dietterich, T. G.  
In IJCAI 2009.


Machine learning for the detection of oil spills in satellite radar images 

Miroslav Kubatt, Robert C. Holte, Stan Matwin

Machine Learning, 1998 – Springer link 


Land cover change detection: a case study. (link)
Boriah, S., Kumar, V., Steinbach, M., Potter, C., and Klooster, S.
KDD 2008.

Bayesian Modeling of Uncertainty in Ensembles of Climate Models
Smith, R., C. Tebaldi, D. Nychka, and L. O. Mearns 
Journal of the American Statistical Association (2008)


Uncertainty and learning in a strategic environment: global climate change (link)

Erin Baker. Resource and Energy Economics, Volume 27, Issue 1, January 2005, Pages 19-40


    The computational future for climate and Earth system models: om the path to petaflop and beyond.  link

    Warren M Washington, Lawrence Buja and Anthony Craig


    • Ecosystems (Sensor Networks )

      Krause, A., and C. Guestrin.  2009.  Optimizing sensing from water to
      the Web.  IEEE Computer Magazine 42(8): 38–45.

      Hoke, E., J. Sun, and C. Faloutsos.  2006.  InteMon: Intelligent
      System Monitoring on Large Clusters.  Pp. 1239–1242 in Proceeding of
      Very Large Databases (VLDB’06).  Available online at

      Polastre, J., R. Szewczyk, A. Mainwaring, D. Culler, and J. Anderson.
      2009.  Analysis of Wireless Sensor Networks for Habitat Monitoring.
      Pp. 399–424 in Wireless Sensor Networks, edited by C.S. Raghavendra.
      K.M. Sivalingam, and T. Znati.  Dordrecht:  Springer Netherlands.

      Werner-Allen, G., K. Lorincz, M. Welsh, O. Marcillo, J. Johnson, M.
      Ruiz, and J. Lees.  2006.  Deploying a wireless sensor network on an
      active volcano.  IEEE Internet Computing 10(2): 17–25.


    • Ocean Ecosystem Services


Can Catch Shares Prevent Fisheries Collapse? Costello, C., Steven D. Gaines, John Lynham. 2008.  Science, 321: 1678-1681.


Worm, B., Edward B. Barbier, Nicola Beaumont, J. Emmett Duffy, Carl Folke, Benjamin S. Halpern, Jeremy B. C. Jackson, Heike K. Lotze, Fiorenza Micheli, Stephen R. Palumbi, Enric Sala, Kimberley A. Selkoe, John J. Stachowicz, and Reg Watson. 2006. Impacts of biodiversity loss on ocean ecosystem services. Science, 314:787–790.


Worm, B., Ray Hilborn, Julia K. Baum, Trevor A. Branch, Jeremy S. Collie, Christopher Costello, Michael J. Fogarty, Elizabeth A. Fulton, Jeffrey A. Hutchings, Simon Jennings, Olaf P. Jensen, Heike K. Lotze, Pamela M. Mace, Tim R. McClanahan, Cóilín Minto, Stephen R. Palumbi, Ana M. Parma, Daniel Ricard, Andrew A. Rosenberg, Reg Watson, Dirk Zeller. 2009.  Rebuilding global fisheries.  Science, 325: 578–585.


Heal, G. and Wolfram Schlenker. 2008.  Sustainable Fisheries. Nature, 455: 1044-1045.


                        Bue, BG, R Hilborn, MR Link. 2008. Optimal harvesting considering biological and economic objectives. Can. J. Fish. Aquat. Sci. 65:691-700. link


    • Ecosystem (pedagogical model)


Carpenter, S.R., W.A. Brock and P.C. Hanson.  1999.  Ecological and social dynamics in simple models of ecosystem management.  Conservation Ecology 3(2): 4.  Available on the internet:  URL:  http://www.consecol.org/vol3/iss2/art4.

Carpenter, S. R. and W. A. Brock. 2004. Spatial complexity, resilience and policy diversity: fishing on lake-rich landscapes. Ecology and Society 9(1): 8. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol9/iss1/art8

·       Background Info on the State of the Planet


·       Economics and Human Behavior


·       Energy Resources


·       Human-Built Systems and Land Use


·       Books