Taylor & Francis
Faculty of Health, Engineering and Science
School of Natural Sciences
Using a data base underpinned by probability considerations in which a variety of attributes, some of which may be quantitative, are recorded for a number of “operational taxonomic units” (OTUs), a key system is described by which an unnamed specimen may quickly be identified. The concept of “diagnostic power” is introduced, by which each attribute is evaluated in terms of its potential contribution to identifying the unnamed specimen. Besides coverage of different types of attributes and the introduction of “diagnostic power”, the system has the advantages of incorporating multiple values of an attribute for each OTU and offering short-cuts to identification.