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Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture

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Title Knowledge Integration to Make Decisions About Complex Systems: Sustainability of Energy Production from Agriculture
Author Francesco Danuso
Publisher Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab)
Release Date 2008
Language English

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Subject Area Physics
Abstract A major bottleneck for improving the governance of complex systems, rely on our ability to integrate different forms of knowledge into a decision support system (DSS). Preliminary aspects are the classification of different types of knowledge (a priori or general, a posteriori or specific, with uncertainty, numerical, textual, algorithmic, complete/incomplete, etc.), the definition of ontologies for knowledge management and the availability of proper tools like continuous simulation models, event driven models, statistical approaches, computational methods (neural networks, evolutionary optimization, rule based systems etc.) and procedure for textual documentation. Following these views at University of Udine, a computer language (SEMoLa, Simple, Easy Modelling Language) for knowledge integration has been developed.  SEMoLa can handle models, data, metadata and textual knowledge; it implements and extends the system dynamics ontology (Forrester, 1968; Jørgensen, 1994) in which systems are modelled by the concepts of material, group, state, rate, parameter, internal and external events and driving variables. As an example, a SEMoLa model to improve management and sustainability (economical, energetic, environmental) of the agricultural farms is presented. The model (X-Farm) simulates a farm in which cereal and forage yield, oil seeds, milk, calves and wastes can be sold or reused. X-Farm is composed by integrated modules describing fields (crop and soil), feeds and materials storage, machinery management, manpower  management, animal husbandry, economic and energetic balances, seed oil extraction, manure and wastes management, biogas production from animal wastes and biomasses.
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AV-Portal 3.7.0 (943df4b4639bec127ddc6b93adb0c7d8d995f77c)