dearJulius.com Write For Us

Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations

SHARE:

Machine-learning could help environmental regulators identify which facilities are most likely to fail an inspection. Photo by EPA-EFE/RYAN TONG

By Brooks Hays, UPI

Regulatory agencies tasked with protecting environmental and public health are regularly understaffed and underfunded, but new research suggests machine learning could help officials more effectively monitor potential violators.

The Environmental Protection Agency and partnering state agencies are responsible for monitoring the regulatory compliance of 300,000 facilities. Regulators, however, only have the resources to inspect less than 10 percent of those facilities each year.

To help the EPA catch violations, student researchers at Stanford University designed a model to identify facilities most likely to fail an inspection. Scientists trained the machine learning to interpret a variety of risk factors, including the facility's location, industry and inspection history.

The machine learning model can assess risk scores based on factors linked with previous violations. Scientists used the model to predict how many violations regulators would find if they prioritized inspection by the model's risk assessments.

Under a scenario unconstrained by resource limitations, the models showed regulators could catch up to seven times more violations. Under a more realistic scenario, with budgetary constraints, the machine learning-powered risk scores could help regulators identify twice as many regulatory violations.

Just like human regulators, however, computer models aren't perfect.

"They can perpetuate bias at times and they can be gamed," Stanford grad student Miyuki Hino said in a news release.

If a facility operator could figure out how the algorithm worked, they could potentially manipulate data to ensure the facility would be assessed a low risk score. Operators could also alter management practices, beefing up compliance in anticipation of an inspection and relaxing standards when the risk of an inspection was low.

Scientists acknowledged the model fails to account for changes in regulatory priorities and environmental protection technologies. However, the model's creators said updates to the algorithm could help ensure its long-term efficacy.

Student researchers described the model's potential benefits and flaws in a paper published this week in the journal Nature Sustainability.

"This model is a starting point that could be augmented with greater detail on the costs and benefits of different inspections, violations and enforcement responses," said Stanford graduate student Nina Brooks.

COMMENTS



Note: If you think this story need more information or correction, feel free to comment below your opinion and reaction.
Like & Follow to Stay Updated ...

Name

AI,3,Amazon,1,Apple,5,Emoji,1,Facebook,17,Games,35,Google,7,Instagram,6,Science,205,Security,4,Social Media,24,Tech,242,Technology,1080,Tesla,5,Twitter,4,
ltr
item
Technology - U.S. Daily News: Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations
Machine learning could help regulators identify environmental violations
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-c1cKbdrPdIM/W7RbnkdrVSI/AAAAAAAAdS8/3fv-O6zcn5IPN8FKhD8f_lUFcr2UdTTqgCLcBGAs/s1600/1.jpg
https://4.bp.blogspot.com/-c1cKbdrPdIM/W7RbnkdrVSI/AAAAAAAAdS8/3fv-O6zcn5IPN8FKhD8f_lUFcr2UdTTqgCLcBGAs/s72-c/1.jpg
Technology - U.S. Daily News
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/2018/10/machine-learning-could-help-regulators.html
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/
https://tech.dailynews.us.com/2018/10/machine-learning-could-help-regulators.html
true
4191228214535516123
UTF-8
Loaded All Posts Not found any posts VIEW ALL Read More Reply Cancel reply Delete By Home PAGES POSTS View All RECOMMENDED FOR YOU LABEL ARCHIVE SEARCH ALL POSTS Not found any post match with your request Back Home Sunday Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat January February March April May June July August September October November December Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec just now 1 minute ago $$1$$ minutes ago 1 hour ago $$1$$ hours ago Yesterday $$1$$ days ago $$1$$ weeks ago more than 5 weeks ago Followers Follow THIS PREMIUM CONTENT IS LOCKED STEP 1: Share. STEP 2: Click the link you shared to unlock Copy All Code Select All Code All codes were copied to your clipboard Can not copy the codes / texts, please press [CTRL]+[C] (or CMD+C with Mac) to copy