H. Challa, G.R. Hack, S. Gollwitzer
The following main subjects have been discussed in this group:
  • Transfer of models and expert systems to practice
  • Validation and calibration of models and sub-models
  • Different terminology used in different disciplines
  • Relation models-expert systems

Transfer of models/expert systems to practice In general growers and advisers, of course, have little or no experience with models and expert systems. As a consequence they do not know the possibilities, the advantages and disadvantages of such systems. In order to introduce models and expert systems in practice, therefore, it may be desirable to set up teaching programmes, where these new techniques are introduced to advisers and growers. Furthermore, it was felt that more cooperation in the field of modelling and expert systems between research and practice is required. If the growers and advisers are involved in the development of models, their ideas and experience can be taken into account, and in turn they get a better understanding of these subjects. Related to this, the problem was discussed that researchers and growers may not always have the same aims. A modeller e.g. may be interested in specific processes in greenhouses or plants, whereas the farmer in general is primarily interested in the practical application. So it was questioned whether the models that are being developed are suitable and sufficiently adapted to the grower's aim.

A user-friendly interface to the grower in model-based systems was considered essential. During the development of such interfaces feedback of the user of the models to the researcher is required. The use of expert systems may improve the acceptance of models in practice, because the grower or adviser, in addition to the answers provided, may also ask for explanations about why a specific answer is given.

In order to inform potential users of models about the benefits and potentials of this technique, departments of communication at universities and grower oriented journals should be involved.

Challa, H., Hack, G.R. and Gollwitzer, S. (1989). SUMMARY OF DISCUSSION GROUP: PRODUCTION PLANNING. Acta Hortic. 248, 207-208
DOI: 10.17660/ActaHortic.1989.248.24

Acta Horticulturae