Soil type recognition as improved by genetic algorithm-based variable selection using near infrared spectroscopy and partial least squares discriminant analysis.

Xie, H.T., Zhao, J., Wang, Q., Sui, Y., Wang, J., Yang, X.M., Zhang, X., and Liang, C. (2015). "Soil type recognition as improved by genetic algorithm-based variable selection using near infrared spectroscopy and partial least squares discriminant analysis.", Scientific Reports, 5(Article number 10930), pp. 1-10. doi : 10.1038/srep10930  Access to full text

Abstract

Soil types have traditionally been determined by soil physical and chemical properties, diagnostic horizons and pedogenic processes based on a given classification system. This is a laborious and time consuming process. Near infrared (NIR) spectroscopy can comprehensively characterize soil properties, and may provide a viable alternative method for soil type recognition. Here, we presented a partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLSDA) method based on the NIR spectra for the accurate recognition of the types of 230 soil samples collected from farmland topsoils (0–10 cm), representing 5 different soil classes (Albic Luvisols, Haplic Luvisols, Chernozems, Eutric Cambisols and Phaeozems) in northeast China. We found that the PLSDA had an internal validation accuracy of 89% and external validation accuracy of 83% on average, while variable selection with the genetic algorithm (GA and GA-PLSDA) improved this to 92% and 93%. Our results indicate that the GA variable selection technique can significantly improve the accuracy rate of soil type recognition using NIR spectroscopy, suggesting that the proposed methodology is a promising alternative for recognizing soil types using NIR spectroscopy.

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