Servicio de Información Comunitario sobre Investigación y Desarrollo - CORDIS

Architecture of the different components of a Decision Support System (DSS)

Conception of the architecture of the different components of a Decision Support System (DSS):
- Knowledge Base (KB),

- Inference Engine (IE) and Graphical User/Experts Interfaces (GUI), and of the reasoning system enabling a full communication between them.

Preserving grain post-harvest necessarily deals with preventing degradation of quality. The strategy of Preventative SGM (Stored Grain Management) focuses on the maintenance of the initial quality of grain during the overall storage process. It is based on four sequential steps:
- Assessment of grain quality and condition before storage (the initial quality);

- Planning the optimal storage technical routes, taking into account available equipment and permitted actions;

- Monitoring of the grain condition during storage and

- Reassessment of the storage technical route if the grain condition drifts out of safe storage conditions.

To assess the quality of stored barley, human experts based their reasoning on:
- Measurements and observations of grain,

- Scientific knowledge on the malting barley kernel and on its pests causing spoilage or damage (the biotic factors of deterioration: early germination, insects, moulds and mites),

- Experimental knowledge and know-how.

To represent all these aspects of knowledge, a specific qualitative modelling incorporating reasoning and integrating quantitative models (existing and those developed in the QualiGrain Project) has been developed.

The planning problem is to control the abiotic factors (time, temperature, moisture content, impurities, and insecticide residues) with a view to keeping them within safe storage conditions.

The planning method is hierarchical, with two abstraction levels:
- Generation of the genric storage plans,
- Refining the generic storage plans taking into account the time, the available equipment and permitted actions.

An optimal storage technical route provides a plan of the storage actions to execute during stotrage with an estimated safe storage period after each action of the plan.

A prototype of the expert system QualiS (copyright) has been developed in Windows (MS) for use on PC.

The advice afforded by the decision support system has been validated firstly by human experts and subsequently in pilot scale experiments in Denmark and UK.

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