A comparative study between parametric and artificial neural networks approaches for economical assessment of potato production in Iran
Potatoes are the single most important agricultural commodity in Hamadan province of Iran, where 25,503 ha of this crop were planted in 2008 under irrigated conditions. This paper compares results of the application of two different approaches, parametric model (PM) and artificial neural networks (ANNs), for assessing economical productivity (EP), total costs of production (TCP) and benefit to cost ratio (BC) of potato crop. In this comparison, Cobb-Douglas function for PM and multilayer feedforward for implementing ANN models have been used. The ANN, having 8-6- 12-1 topology with R2 = 0.89, resulted in the best-suited model for estimating EP. Similarly, optimal topologies for TCP and BC were 8-13-15-1 (R2 = 0.97) and 8-15-13-1 (R2 = 0.94), respectively. In validating the PM and ANN models, mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) was used as performance indicator. The ANN approach allowed to reduce the MAPE from –184% for PM to less than 7% with a +30% to –95% variability range. Since ANN outperformed PM model, it should be preferred for estimating economical indices.
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