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Christopher A. Meacham
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MEKA is an interactive Multiple-Entry Key Algorithm to enable rapid identification of biological specimens. Earlier versions of the program used a command-line interface. The version offered here is the first version developed to run under Windows. MEKA is controlled by mouse clicks; no text is entered. This approach allows very rapid access to program functions.

The user picks character states that are present in the specimen from a list of possibilities. As the character states are scored by picking them, MIKA eliminates taxa that no longer match the list of scored character states. Different windows display different aspects of the underlying data base. As the identification progresses the windows are updated automatically. An index screen makes it easy to find and score particular classes of character states. MEKA does not lead the user in a fixed stepwise progression through a series of questions. Instead, the user can perform identifications by scoring character states in any order. This makes it possible to identify specimens that are much more fragmentary than is possible with dichotomous keys.


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