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Selective logging operations in natural tropical forests often involve a very limited number of commercial tree species and if the density of these species is low, the number of trees felled may be only a few per ha. Consequently the costs of road and trail networks have a significant impact on the overall profitability of forest use. Furthermore, the damages resulting from inappropriate routing of skid trails may be severe and, therefore, the need for optimization of the transport network layout is evident. However, optimization involves deciding what trees to cut, designing the best possible road and trail network and choosing the best possible winding route for each trail segment and is therefore a difficult task. In this study a self-organizing procedure is tested as a means of optimization the temporary road and trail network in a heterogeneous terrain with scattered trees. The paper outlines the method and presents preliminary test results for a hypothetical forest area.


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