• "In biology, a single-access key (also called "sequential key", "analytical key"[1], or "pathway key") is a key where the sequence and structure of identification steps is fixed by the author of the key. At each point in the key multiple options are offered, each option leading to the next choice. The options are commonly called "leads", the set of leads at a given point a "couplet". If the entire key consists of exactly two choices at each branching point, the key is called dichotomous. If not, it is described as polytomous (or, in false analogy, "polychotomous"). The majority of single-access keys are dichotomous. Single access keys are closely related to decision trees or self-balancing binary search trees. However, to improve the usability and reliability of keys, many single-access keys incorporate reticulation, changing the tree structure into a directed acyclic graph. Single-access keys have been in use for several hundred years [2]. They may be printed in various styles (e. g., linked, nested, indented, graphically branching) or used as interactive, computer-aided keys. In the latter case, either a longer part of the key may be displayed (optionally hyperlinked), or only a single question may be displayed at a time." Source and further information:
  • It is a method for determining the identity of something.

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