The Indian Institute of Technology ( IITMadras) and Harvard University researchers have jointly developed a novel Learning Algorithm Machine named ‘CombSGPO’ (Combined Security Game Policy Optimization), which can be helpful in saving wildlife from poaching.
The research has been carried jointly by Prof . Balaraman Ravindran of Department of Computer Science and Engineering of IIT Madras in collaboration with Prof. Milind Tambe’s Research Group of Harvard University, U.S.
Telling about the findings, Prof. Ravindran said, “ The work is motivated by the need to perform strategic resource allocation and patrolling in green security domains to prevent illegal activities such as wildlife poaching, illegal logging and illegal fishing. “
He said, “The combined and coordinated use of forest rangers and drones is a good way to protect wildlife from poaching as there is limited field staff; the algorithm developed by the researchers would provide efficient signalling and communication to nab poachers .”
The algorithm based on the Game Theory model developed by the researcher’s, works by handling resource allocation and strategic patrolling using data of animals and conserved area.
As per the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), wildlife trade poses the second biggest direct threat to the survival of species after habitat destruction. While several organizations and regulatory authorities are trying to curb the incidences of poaching, the poachers seem to have always remained one step ahead of the patrollers. This research can be of immense use in India since poaching is a matter of real concern here .
The work was well received at the 20th International Conference on Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems and can be viewed in the following link – https://dl.acm.org/doi/10.5555/3463952.3464108