Date of Award

Winter 2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Computational Modeling & Simulation Engineering


Modeling and Simulation

Committee Director

Frederic D. McKenzie

Committee Member

Yuzhong Shen

Committee Member

Andrew J. Collins

Committee Member

Michael J. Seller


Decision support systems (DSS) for farmers address the need for modeling multiple processes and scenarios that affect farmer decision making. Existing DSS have various drawbacks that stop them from being deployed as decision support tools. This research proposes a multi-model simulation framework that can be used to analyze farm management practices at the crop level, individual farm level and at the community level to show the impact and alternatives for smallholder farming practices. A generic crop growth model is proposed, based on existing equations. We run sensitivity analysis on the model to identify important variables. The outputs from the crop model are utilized in a series of linear programming models to estimate the optimal scheduling of crops. In addition to these models we build a rule-based fuzzy system to replicate existing trends among farmers. Predicting these trends help us in identifying the decision patterns of farmers and help us in conducting scenario analysis to gauge the farmers reactions to external stimuli. The various limitations and assumptions of the models are described, and we conclude with suggestions for improving these models.


In Copyright. URI: This Item is protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use this Item in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. For other uses you need to obtain permission from the rights-holder(s).