Google PageRank Powers Endangered Species Hierarchy

In the circle of life there are many players and while there’s no shortage of people, there are unfortunately thousands of endangered animals and plants. Biologists have been looking for ways to determine the most important species based on the number of feeding-related interactions, and surprisingly the Google search algorithm is playing a part.

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There are almost 4706 animals and 4295 plants on the worldwide endangered animals list and it’s difficult to determine which extinctions would be the most devastating. Food web biologist Stefano Allesina was featured in Wired magazine for using a modified version of Google’s search algorithm PageRank to determine just that.

 

It makes me all geeky-happy when smart processing of data leads to actionable information. Love it.

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