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Enabling Mixed Societies of Communicating Plants and Artefacts

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Bringing PLANTS into the digital age

Novel research funded by the Information Society Technologies Programme is helping to incorporate plants into our increasingly digital world.

Digital Economy

Nature has for the most part been excluded from the digital revolution. However, there is considerable potential for benefit, particularly in the agricultural sector. With this in mind, the PLANTS research consortium set about developing the sensors and software necessary to establish an interface with plants. One of the participants, the Computer Technology Institute (CTI) in Greece, was charged with the task of designing the decision-making components of the PLANTS system. The status of each individual plant is monitored with a variety of sensors. The system's hierarchy then extends to the local and global scales in which the plants interact with one another and their environment. The heart of the decision-making process is the PLANTS Ontology, a collection of rules describing plant behaviour and the desirable states at each of the system's levels. The CTI researchers made efforts to enrich the ontology with knowledge obtained from machine learning experiments performed during the project. More specifically, new rules and decision trees were produced following detailed analysis of the plant sensor data. CTI has copyrighted its contributions to PLANTS, which it believes will be instrumental in optimising agricultural efficiency, eliminating the unnecessary waste of valuable inputs such as water, nutrients and even pesticides.

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