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A Fortran program for constructing identification keys is described. The strategy used by the program aims to minimize the probability of error or the amount of difficulty in using the key. The main considerations in assessing the merit of a character are the reliability or convenience of the character (as estimated by the maker of the key), the evenness of the division produced by the character, and the amount of intra-taxon variability for the character. The key maker has a high degree of control over the strategy, as the relative importance of these criteria may be specified, and the automatic choice of characters may be overridden.
Systematic Zoology © 1974 Oxford University Press