EPA Science Inventory

Computing and Interpreting Fisher Information as a Metric of Sustainability: Regime Changes in the United States Air Quality

Citation:

Gonzalez-Mejia, A. M., T. EASON, H. CABEZAS, AND M. T. Suidan. Computing and Interpreting Fisher Information as a Metric of Sustainability: Regime Changes in the United States Air Quality. CLEAN TECHNOLOGIES AND ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY. Springer-Verlag, New York, NY, 14(5):775-788, (2012).

Description:

As a key tool in information theory, Fisher Information has been used to explore the observable behavior of a variety of systems. In particular, recent work has demonstrated its ability to assess the dynamic order of real and model systems. However, in order to solidify the use of this metric for measuring sustainability, it is pertinent that Fisher Information be understood both conceptually and practically. As such, this document has been developed as a guide for interpreting Fisher Information as a sustainability metric. Moreover, this work provides details on an analytical and numerical approach to estimating Fisher information based on the evaluation of changes in the system’s trajectory for determining stable and unstable regimes in real systems, which might represent sustainable or unsustainable systems. Using this new approach, the sustainability of US Air Quality characterized by criteria pollutants (i.e., lead, carbon monoxide, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, and sulfur dioxide) was assessed from 1980 to 2009. Further, the precision of Fisher Information computations was examined, thereby establishing an alternative procedure for evaluating real systems characterized by noisy and sparse data sets. Throughout this article, the reader is led through the analysis of Fisher Information results with the goal of both providing guidance on the interpretation of Fisher Information and giving a more tactile understanding of the results applied to sustainability assessment.

Purpose/Objective:

To inform the public

URLs/Downloads:

Compt & Interpr Fisher Info Metr Sustain: Regime Chg US Air Qual   Exit

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Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Start Date: 10/01/2012
Completion Date: 10/01/2012
Record Last Revised: 10/12/2012
Record Created: 11/25/2011
Record Released: 11/25/2011
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 239689

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL RISK MANAGEMENT RESEARCH LABORATORY

SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGY DIVISION

SUSTAINABLE ENVIRONMENTS BRANCH