Latest Event Updates

Mathematical programming approaches for procurement in water irrigation systems

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As part of his secondment to ALSIA, Manuel Díaz from UPV conducted a teaching session on “Mathematical programming approaches for procurement in water irrigation systems”.

The development tools used to improve water management acquire special relevance, particularly when the area has a high water resource deficit. Currently, this problem is present in many countries as a result of the increase in population, the decrease in water resources and the increase in energy prices. Mathematical programming is an analytical procedure to determine the optimum allocation of scarce resources. These allocation problems can be presented in very different ways. In this sense, mathematical programming techniques are employed in a large number of problems, such as production planning, supplier selection, transport and distribution problems, forest planning or scheduling flights, among others. The goal of this teaching session was to introduce the audience in the use of mathematical programming for addressing the replenishment process in a local irrigation network with the aim to decide what volume is procured (source, quantity and timetable) as well as what volume is stored while minimizing the involved total costs. A review of different mathematical programming approaches for addressing this type of problems was presented, and finally, a case study from a real water irrigation network was used to demonstrate the benefits of mathematical programming as a decision making tool.

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Manuel Díaz Madroñero at ALSIA

Group decision making in agriculture: Mathematical programming model + Group Decision Support System approach

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As part of her secondment to ALSIA, Ana Esteso from UPV conducted a teaching session. At the session, an introduction to the group decision making in agriculture was presented. For that, an approach comprised by a multi-objective mathematical programming model and a group decision support system was employed to centrally plan the planting and harvest of crops. The main complexity of this planning problem is that prices of products are highly dependent on demand-supply balance. So, decisions made by one farmer will impact on the margin to be obtained by the rest of farmers. This could be solved by centrally planning the planting and harvest of products, but new problems could arise due to the inequalities between farmers and consequently, their unwillingness to collaborate. A multi-objective mathematical programming model to centrally plan the planting and harvest of three types of tomatoes is proposed. Three objectives related to three dimensions of sustainability are optimized by using the ε-constraint method. Ten non-dominated optimal solutions are obtained and included in the group decision support system named GRUS as possible planning alternatives. Involved actors use the group decision support system to vote, in function of their preferences, the alternatives that better fit their needs. In this way, farmers collaboratively decide the solution to be implemented in farms. The involvement of farmers in decision-making process provokes the willingness to implement chosen decisions in real life. Results obtained by applying this group decision making approach to the Argentinean tomato case study are presented. Possible future lines for the improvement of such approach are commented and discussed with the audience.

The presentation is available for download here

Quantitative Models for Supply Chain Design and Management

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In the context of his secondment to Riviera Produce, Raúl Poler (from UPV) conducted a teaching session on “Quantitative Models for Supply Chain Design and Management”. The session took place at the University of Plymouth.

A Supply Chain is a complex system of entities, people, resources and information involved in creating a product, purchasing materials and components, processing them, assembly the final product and delivering it, from various steps of suppliers to the final customer. To achieve a good performance in a Supply Chain there are lot of decisions which should be optimized, at different levels (strategic, tactical and operational) and different steps (purchase, production, delivery, transport, etc.). Quantitative Models applied to Supply Chain problems support decision-makers to achieve a good performance by selecting the optimum decisions among a myriad of alternatives. This training session aimed to provide the participants with a deep knowledge on creating mathematical modelling problems, related with Supply Chain, using an algebraic modelling language and a computer tool to solve it. The participants learner to create computable models from mathematical models, and test them using real or fictitious/realistic data. Models and data were be treated separately, creating the abstract model and storing the data in data sets, using a computer tool to obtain the model instance to send to the solver.

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Management Production and Inventories: From EOQ/EPQ to ELSP and its extension with shelf life and transitive demand items

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As part of her secondment to Riviera Produce, Pilar Vidal from UPV conducted a teaching session on “Management Production and Inventories: From EOQ/EPQ to ELSP and its extension with shelf life and transitive demand items“. At this session, the economic order quantity (EOQ) as one of the simplest and used models to control production and inventory was presented. Their extension to manufacturing systems, that is, economic production quantity (EPQ) was shown.  How to implement basic production and inventory management policies using these models was detailed. The most basic inventory-management model is defined by the employed policy –reorder point (s,Q) periodic review (T,S), model (s,S) to name just a few- and its control parameters. It can be said that any of these models answer two basic questions: ‘when’ and ‘how much’ to order/manufacture. The ‘when’ question is usually addressed by either (or simultaneously) setting a stock level at which to reorder or stablishing specific moments of time when to reorder. The ‘how much’ question tends to be answered by either considering a stock level that serves as a reference to fill, or a fixed quantity that optimizes the affected costs. After that, Economic Lot Scheduling Problem (ELSP) was presented which occurs when EPQ deals with more than one item. The solution to the ELSP involves two critical decisions. On the one hand, there is the lot sizing problem. On the other hand, there is the scheduling decision, i.e. decide when items are produced so that the schedule is feasible. Some heuristics to implement ELSP approach were described. After that the particular case of a firm which package fresh vegetables was presented, describing the special characteristics of this framework regarding the management of the production and inventories.

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Pilar Vidal in a teaching session

Production Scheduling in a vegetable packing machine with uncertainty in the quality of the raw material

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As part of his secondment to Riviera Produce, Pedro Gómez from UPV conducted a teaching session on “Production Scheduling in a vegetable packing machine with uncertainty in the quality of the raw material”. In the session, a description and several models of the packaging process of 3 product families (broccoli, cauliflower and mixed tray) were presented in a production system similar to that of 3 unrelated parallel machines. Several alternative models were considered in order to introduce the uncertainty in the quality of the raw material and to see how it affects the satisfied demand. After the presentation of the case, the resolution of a simple model was addressed by means of heuristic algorithms.

Download the presentation

Teaching session by Pedro Gomez, from UPV
Attendees from Riviera Produce, and University of Plymouth

Prof. Jorge Hernandez, Keynote at ModelIt

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On June 12th, a special session took place at the ModelIt 2019 conference. The session started with a keynote presentation by Dr. Jorge Hernandez, coordinator of RUC-APS

jorge-at-modelit-2019-v2

Summary

From the genetic design of the seed, till their planting and harvest processes, considering the Farmers desired productivity as well as the expected end-customer service level, RUC-APS aims to provide a knowledge advancing in agriculture based-decision making through the development of a high impact research in terms of integrating real-life based agriculture requirements, land management alternatives for a variety of scales, unexpected weather and environmental conditions.

Agrifood value chain modelling as a tool to face uncertainties

The agriculture value chain concept it is certainly not new. But, since new unpredictable environments (weather, economy, technology, etc.) has emerged, it has become more difficult to manage it, but also difficult to compare to similar cases from the past, since most of them does not exists. In addition to this, there is a lack on global agriculture value awareness and Knowledge Management, thus a lack on participative and collaborative ICT developments, which implies that there are no validated framework to manage risks in agribusiness, since managing high uncertainty and unexpected events is even more challenging. Therefore, the genetic design of the seed, till their planting and harvest processes at the end of the agriculture value chain, this is research use and implement a a variety of modelling languages to provide customised answers to each of the challenges and requirements in the agrifood value chain. Thus, and throughout the H2020 RUC-APS project, the variety of modelling approaches is used to integrate real-life based agriculture requirements, land management alternatives for a variety of scales, unexpected weather and environmental conditions as well as innovation for the development of agriculture production systems and their impact over the end users under participatory ICT developments. Key outcomes are measured in terms of usability and impact of these models in real-life agriculture domains.

ModelIt 2019

Prof. Shaofeng Liu – keynote at ICEEG 2019

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Prof. Shaofeng Liu, from University of Plymouth, was the Keynote Speaker at this year’s International Conference on E-commerce, E-Business and E-Government (ICEEG 2019), in Lyon, France.

Title: Decision Support in The Context of Business Digitalisation: A Knowledge-Based, Learning Led and Value-Driven Framework

Abstract: Business world has been changing faster than ever since the last part of 20th century. We have now entered a brand new era of business digitalisation. Benefited from the invention of Internet and Web, e-business has thrived. E-business is the organised effort of individuals and organisations to produce and sell products and services that satisfy consumers’ needs by using digital technologies for a profit. Digital technologies such as Internet of Things have opened up new commercial opportunities in unforeseen pace. For example, we now have a situation where the world’s largest bookseller does not own a single brick-and-mortar bookstore (Amazon), world’s largest telecommunications provider does not own any network infrastructure (Skype), world’s largest hotel business does not own bedrooms (Airbnb), and world’s biggest taxi company does not own cars (Uber). To adapt to this fast evolving and challenging business environment, adaptive business leaders and managers need increasing support from innovative and sustainable approaches for their decision-making. This talk will analyse important characteristics of e-business and key challenges of decision making in the context of business digitalisation, identify decision support requirements from three perspectives: knowledge management, organisational learning and value network. A knowledge-based, learning-led and value-driven decision framework for business digitalisation will be presented.

The pdf of her presentation is available following this link

Introduction to ERP systems

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As part of a secondment to ALSIA, Andrés Boza García and Llanos Cuenca Gonzalez from UPV conducted a teaching session on ERP systems.

The session covered the following topics:

  • Definition and Characteristics of ERP Systems
  • Reason to Acquire Them
  • Impact on Organisation
  • Advantages and Disadvantages of ERP Systems

The material used in this session can be downloaded in pdf form from this link .

RUC-APS at the IX International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops

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Alejandro Antunes at ISIHC

As part of the Secondment of  Dr. Alejandro Antúnez from INIA Chile at RUC-APS, the researcher attended to the IX International Symposium on Irrigation of Horticultural Crops, organized by the International Society for Horticultural Science (ISHS) and the DiCEM/ University of Basilicata, hold in Matera (Italy) from 17 to 20 June 2019. At the Symposium, Dr. Antúnez presented three research papers on irrigation and water management, focused on the improvement of the commercial yield and water productivity:

1) Authors: Alejandro Antúnez, Carlos Blanco, Sofía Felmer, Marcelo Vidal and Roberto Morales.

Title: “Commercial yield response of iceberg lettuce (Lactuca sativa L. var capitata) to water irrigation at a cool semi-arid climate of Maipo Valley, Santiago, Chile”. Oral presentation. (PDF)

2) Authors: Sofía Felmer, Alejandro Antúnez, Marcelo Vidal and Roberto Morales.

Title:”Response of melon (Cucumis melo L) var. Honey dew to four levels of irrigation at Cachapoal Valley, Region de O’Higgins, Chile”. Poster presentation.

3) Authors:  Alejandro Antúnez, Valeska Rojas, Pilar Gil, Daniela Cea and Raúl Ferreyra .

Title: “Improving water productivity of avocado (Persea americana Mill.) var. Hass by using a reinforced plastic cover over the canopy at Petorca Valley, Region of Valparaíso, Chile”. Poster presentation.

The activity was part of the Secondment under the supervisio of the Agenzia Lucana di Sviluppo e di Innovazione in Agricoltura – ALSIA en Metaponto, Matera -Italy.

 

UT1C presenting a joint paper with UNLP at the GDN 2019 conference

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Pascale Zaraté, Amir Sakka, and Guy Camilleri fom University of Toulouse 1 Capitole presented a new article at the GDN 2019 (Group Decision and Negotiation Conferences) in Loughborough, UK, June 11-15 2019 (http://gdnconference.org/gdn2019/).

Members of the UT1C team at GDN 2019

Title: UX Challenges in GDSS: An Experience Report
Authors: Amir Sakka, Gabriela Bosetti, Julián Grigera, Guy Camilleri, Alejandro Fernández, Pascale Zaraté, Sandro Bimonte, Lucile Sautot

First Online: 30 May 2019
(https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007%2F978-3-030-21711-2_6)
Part of the Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing book series
(LNBIP, volume 351)

Abstract: In this paper we present a user experience report on a Group Decision Support System. The used system is a Collaborative framework called GRoUp Support (GRUS). The experience consists in three user tests
conducted in three different countries. While the locations are different, all three tests were run in the same conditions: same facilitator and tested process. In order to support the end-users. we teach the system in two different ways: a presentation of the system, and a video demonstrating how to use it. The main feedback of this
experience is that the teaching step for using Collaborative tools in mandatory. The experience was conducted in the context of decision-making in the agriculture domain.

Keywords
GDSS User experience

RUC-APS was present at the ICDSST 2019, in Portugal

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RUC-APS was present at the International Conference on Decision Support System Technology (ICDSST2019), in Madeira, Portugal, May 27-29.

Shaofeng Liu and Pascale Zaraté at ICDSST-2019
Shaofeng Liu and Pascale Zaraté at ICDSST-2019

Three articles were presented, that disseminate some of the findings of RUC-APS. They were are published in proceedings published by Springer, Lecture Notes in Business Information Process (https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-18819-1).

Pascale Zaraté, Guy Camilleri IRIT, MME Alemany, Ana Esteso Alvarez, and Mariana del Pino. How to support group decision making in horticulture: An approach based on the combination of a centralized mathematical model and a Group Decision Support System.

Abstract: Decision making for farms is a complex task. Farmers have to fix the price of their production but several parameters have to be taken into account: harvesting, seeds, ground, season etc… This task is even more difficult when a group of farmers must make the decision. Generally, optimization models support the farmers to find no dominated solutions, but the problem remains difficult if they have to agree on one solution. In order to support the farmers for this complex decision we combine two approaches. We firstly generate a set of no dominated solutions thanks to a centralized optimization model. Based on this set of solution we then used a Group Decision Support System called GRUS for choosing the best solution for the group of  farmers. The combined approach allows us to determine the best solution for the group in a consensual way. This combination of approaches is very innovative for the Agriculture domain.

Alejandro Fernandez, Gabriela Bosetti, Sergio Firmenich, and Pascale Zarate. Logikós: Augmenting the web with multi-criteria decision support

Abstract: There are activities that on-line customers daily perform, which involve a multi-criteria decision challenge. Choosing a destination for traveling, buying a book to read, or buying a mobile phone are some examples. Customers analyze and compare alternatives considering a set of shared characteristics, and under certain criteria. E-commerce websites frequently present the information of products without special support to compare them by one or many properties. Moreover support for decision making is limited to sorting, filtering, and side-by-side comparison tables. Consequently, customers may have the feeling that the merchants interests influence their choices, which are no longer grounded on the rational arguments they would like to put in practice. Moreover, the alternatives of interest for the customer are frequently scattered across various shops, with no support to collect and compare them in a consistent and customized manner. In this article, we propose empowering users with multi-criteria decision making support on any website, and across different websites. We also present Logikós, a toolbox supporting multi-criteria decision making depending on the presentation layer of any Web page.

Guoqing Zhao, Shaofeng Liu, Huilan Chen, Carmen Lopez, Jorge Hernandez, Cécile Guyon , Rina Iannacone, Nicola Calabrese, Hervé Panetto, Janusz Kacprzyk, MME Alemany. Value-Chain Wide Food Waste Management: A Systematic Literature Review

Abstract: The agriculture value chain, from farm to fork, has received enormous attention because of its key role in achieving United Nations Global Challenges Goals. Food waste occurs in many different forms and at all stages of the food value chain, it has become a worldwide issue that requires urgent actions. However, the management of food waste has been traditionally segmented and in an isolated manner. This paper reviews existing work that has been done on food waste management in literature by taking a holistic approach, in order to identify the causes of food waste, food waste prevention strategies, and elicit recommendations for future work. A five step systematic literature review has been adopted for a thorough examination of the existing research on the topic and new insights have been obtained. The findings suggest that the main sources of food waste include food  overproduction and surplus, food waste caused by processing, logistical inconsistencies, and households. Main food waste prevention strategies have been revealed in this paper include policy solutions, packaging solutions, date-labelling solutions, logistics solutions, changing consumers’ behaviours, and reuse and redistribution solutions. Future research directions such as using value chain models to reduce food waste and forecasting food waste have been identified in this paper. This study makes a contribution to the extant literature in the field of food waste management by discovering main  causes of food waste in the value chain and eliciting prevention strategies that can be used to reduce/eliminate relevant food waste.

RUC-APS at Model-It 2019

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Do not miss your chance to join the RUC-APS team at the next Model-It simposium in Italy!

Model-It  (the International Symposium on Applications of Modelling as an Innovative Technology in the Horticultural Supply Chain) will be held in Molfetta, Italy from June 9 to 12 of 2019.

Deadline for abstract submission has been extended till February 22nd (full versions due on April 30th).

Learn more…

Special Session at PRO-VE 2019

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PRO-VE

Do not miss the chance to joint the RUC-APS community at PRO-VE 2019 in Turin. Submit your article to the RUC-APS special session on Digital Transformation in Food and Agribusiness Value Chain

Session Organizers:

  • Mareva Alemany – CIGIP- Universitat Politècnica de València – mareva@cigip.upv.es
  • Angel Ortiz – CIGIP- Universitat Politècnica de València – aortiz@cigip.upv.es
  • Jorge Hernandez, University of Liverpool, UK, J.E.Hernandez@Liverpool.ac.uk

Upcomming workshop with stakeholders from the horticultural belt of La Plata

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On April 26th, RUC-APS will summon multiple stakeholders from the horticultural belt of La Plata to a working session. The goal of the session will be to construct shared understanding in terms of the requirements and challenges in the desicion making processes of horticulture, with special focus in the region of La Plata and the Buenos Aires province.

This event will ocurr in coincidence with the visit to UNLP of representatives of University of Plymouth, University of Lorraine, and University of Liverpool.

 

 

RUC-APS local web-site at INIA (Chile)

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The Institute of Agricultural Research (INIA) in Chile has just released a new web-site with information about RUC-APS for the spanish speaking community. In addition, the site provides insight into INIA’s activities and results in the project.

Great work!

 

Report on the special track: Advances and Challenges in HCI in Agriculture

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The International Conference on Human Computer Interaction -Interacción 2018 – is the 19th edition of the International Conference promoted by the AIPO and it took place on September 12-14, 2018 at the Universitat de les Illes Balears in Palma (Mallorca, Spain). The conference aimed at providing a forum, both for academia and industry, to exchange ideas and discuss the latest in interactive technology with a multidisciplinary approach. In that context, RUC-APS hosted one special track: Advances and Challenges in HCI in Agriculture

The goal of this special session is to attract representatives of industry and academia that can provide insight into the challenges and advances of effectively bringing ICT to agriculture, from the perspective of HCI.

Four articles were presented:

  • Designing ICT for Agriculture (ICT4A) Innovations for Smallholder. Farmers: The Case of Uganda. By Christopher G. Harris and Janet Cox Achora
  • Beyond the GUI in agriculture: a bibliographic review, challenges and opportunities. By Andres Rodriguez, Alejandro Fernández and Jorge Hernández Hormazabal
  • A Mixed Usability Evaluation on a Multi-Criteria Group Decision Support System in Agriculture. By Julián Grigera, Alejandra Garrido, Pascale Zaraté, Guy Camilleri and Alejandro Fernández
  • Using Citizen Science Gamification in Agriculture Collaborative Knowledge Production. By Jonathan Martin, Diego Torres, Alejandro Fernandez, Santiago Pravisani and Guillaume Briend

 

Interacción 2018

The special track was organized  by:

  • Prof. Jorge Hernandez, RUC-APS project Coordinator, ULMS, University of Liverpool, UK, J.E.Hernandez@Liverpool.ac.uk
  • Prof. Pascale Zarate, Université de Toulouse Capitole 1, Toulouse, France, Pascale.Zarate@ut-capitole.fr
  • Prof. Janusz Kacprzyk, IIntelligent Systems Laboratory – System Research Institute, Poland, Janusz.Kacprzyk@ibspan.waw.pl
  • Prof. Hervé Panetto, Research Centre for Automatic Control, University of Lorraine, CNRS, France, Herve.Panetto@univ-lorraine.fr
  • Julián Grigera, LIFIA, Facultad de Informática, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina/CIC julian.grigera@lifia.info.unlp.edu.ar
  • Prof. Alejandro Fernández, LIFIA, Faculty of Informátics/CIC, Universidad Nacional de La Plata, Argentina alejandro.fernandez@lifia.info.unlp.edu.ar

Grus demonstrator Video

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by Gabriela Bosetti (UNLP), and Pascale Zarate (UT1C)

GRUS (Group Decision Support System, GRoUp Support) is a Web-based system supporting collective decision processes that take into account the individual preferences of different actors from a same organization. It’s about supporting a multi-criteria approach for solving a concrete problem, in which decision makers must agree on a concrete alternative of solution based in the balance among all of the individual preferences. The system has been used in diverse scenarios in various domains, but not in agriculture.

A particularity within the world of agriculture is that there are still places with a lack of technological support, that may help the farmers to evaluate and explore alternative solutions. In this regard, Wilken et al [Wil90], mention that in Central America and Mexico during the ‘90, there were traditional systems, mainly depending on local group experience-based knowledge that is transferred verbally from one generation to other. We observed that this mechanisms still perseveres in some farms of small or medium size in south america, Argentina in particular . There is still an informality in decision-making, and we would like to know if a system assisting users in the decision process is really helpful for farmers, e.g. if they found that using a system allows them to visualize more alternatives of solution, or if their confidence changes when taking decisions by explicitly entering each criterion and its related weight.

But before contrasting the use of a system against the conventional methodologies, it is essential to evaluate if the current system, designed to support general-purpose decision making, adapts well to the knowledge and specific needs of farmers. A possible way to do this is conductions a concept demonstration script session with the farmers. in this regard, Sutcliffe & Ryan [Sut98] mention that one of the techniques of the SCRAM method for requirements elicitation and validation is providing a designed artefact which users can react to. To do so, prototypes or concept demonstrators can be used. In fact, the authors present a case study where prototypes were developed but had limited functionality, so they choose to run the demonstration as a concept demonstrator script. Røkke et al. [Røk10] also present a work where a combination of prototypes and demonstrator sessions are used to elicit and validate the early acceptance of the stakeholders’ requirements, in the context of a the User Interface Development for the Oil and Gas Industry.

In our case, we have been focused throughout May 2018 in the construction of a demonstrator script to easily show farmers how the system would work to make a decision within their domain. That required us to choose a scenario in the specific domain of the farmers that will participate in the session, to learn about and choose a method (the demonstrator script), to plan the script, to get together to record the sessions of 5 participants (playing the role of farmers) and finally, to edit the recordings and create the demonstrator script (the final video). The result of such experience can be watched in the video below:

Now, the next steps will be to carefully choose the questions that will be asked after each of the steps shown in the video, in order to collect some feedback from the farmers. The experience with the real farmers is planned for October 2018.

UT1C teaches UNLP-Agro staff about GDSS

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As part of his secondment to UNLP (Argentina) Amir Sakka from UT1C (France) conducted a teaching session on Group Decision Support Systems. The session was aimed at academics, researchers, and students of the Faculty of Agronomic Sciences and Forestry of the National University of La Plata. It is part of a series of activities that are central to work packages 10 and 12. The aim of these activities is to pilot UTC1 technology (the Grus system) in agriculture scenarios.

The material used in this session can be downloaded in pdf form from this link

A video presenting an example session of the Grus system in agriculture was used for demonstration purposes. The demonstrator video is available on-line:

This teaching session will be followed by a hands on experiment to be conducted in the following days.

Amir Sakka (UTC1) teaches GDSS at UNLP Agro

RUC-APS at Euro 2018

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The European Conference on Operational Research (Euro 2018) took place from July 8th to 11th in Valencia Spain. In the context of this conference, RUC-APS organized three special sessions.

  • OR Advances in Agri-Food Systems
  • Risk and Uncertainty in Agri-Food Systems
  • Supply Chain Modelling and Optimization

In total, 12 articles were presented, some of which were submitted by researchers in the RUC-APS consortium.  The detailed program is provided below.

This sessions contributed to the consolidation and expansión of the RUC-APS network, towards risk and uncertainty in agriculture and agri-food systems.

Program of RUC-APS sponsored sessions at Euro 2018

 

Presentations snapshots

 

The RUC-APS team at Euro 2018

Teaching on GDSS at UPV and AINIA

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In June 20th, and June 22nd, Prof. Pascale Zarate, from Université Toulouse 1 Capitole conducted two teaching sessions. These sessions were specially aimed at  researchers and academics from UPV and from AINIA respectively. The topic of these sessions was Group Decision Support Systems and how these system can improve group efficiency for decision making problems.

This activity is part of the teaching agenda of Prof. Zarate’s secondment to UPV that is currently taking place.

The presentation used during the teaching sessions is available for download here

Pascale Zarate (UT1C) honored with GDN INFORMS Section Award

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The Group Decision and Negotiation (GDN) section of the International Federation of Operational Research and Management Science Society (INFORMS) awarded Pascale Zaraté, ADRIA team, on June 12th2018 at the University of d’Aeronotics et Astraunotics, Nanjing, China during the annual international conference GDN organized under the authority of the GDN-INFORMS section. Since 2004, this award is yearly assigned to one researcher for his/her whole activity and his/her involvement in the GDN community. Since 2004, only three women have been awarded: Prof. Katia Sycara, Carnegie Mellon School of Computer Science, USA; Prof. Fran Ackerman, Curtin University, Australia and Prof. Pascale Zaraté, Université Toulouse 1 Capitole – IRIT, France.

Learning about some aspects of plant breeding: Artichoke

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On June 18th, in the context of her secondment to CNRISPA (Italy), Constanza Jana (INIA, Chile) conducted a teaching session on the various aspects of plant breeding, with particular focus on Artichoke. Plant breading requires in-depth knowledge of the target plant, and a clear definition of improvement goals. Plant breeding techniques are key in nowadays plant species domestication. In the present, only 30 of the 700 domesticated plant species are in use.

The session was targeted at students of the Liceo Scientifico “S. Simone” – Liceo Classico “D. Morea” – Conversano (BA).

The presentation used in the session can be downloaded here

Sustainable vegetables production systems for the South of Chile in Climate Change context

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On June 12th, Sigrid Vargas Schuldes from INIA Chile , held a teaching session at CNR-ISPA, aimed at CNR-ISPA researchers.

The topic of the session was climate change as an opportunity for sustainable horticultural production in the regions of  Los Ríos y Los Lagos (South of Chile). Climate changes enables productive diversification, and new business opportunities specially for small farmers. It therefore calls for new research and development models with a focus on global and local adaptation.
The session presentation can be downloaded herePDF-icon-small-231x300

sigrid-teaching-june-16-2018

 

Summary of 10 years of research on artichoke in the semi-arid zone of Chile

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On June 12th Constanza Jana Ayala from INIA (Chile) conducted a teaching session in the context of her secondment to CNR-ISPA (Italy). The session started with an overview of the activities of INIA, with special focus in the work conducted at the Intihuasi Research Regional Center . After a brief introduction of all participants, the session moved on to discuss artichoke production in Chile and Italy. Topics of the session included evolution of production in the region, production methods, breeding methods and main crop health challenges and approaches.

Teaching: Constanza @ CNR-ISPA

Presentations used during the session can be downloaded from the following links

Strategies to recover and work on Chilean local tomatoes

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On June 5th, 2018, during the secondment to FEDACOVA (Spain), Dr. Juan Pablo MARTINEZ form INIA-La Cruz, Chile,  conducted a RUC-APS teaching session for the dissemination activities of the H2020 RUC-APS project. He travelled to Valencia, Spain. The meeting discussed the role of the Agricultural Research Institute (INIA) in Chile. INIA generates and transfers knowledge and strategic technologies on a national scale, and also as provides with innovation methods to improves competitiveness in the agri-food sector. This session presented the methodologies that INIA applies to recover the local tomatoes with good organoleptic characteristics (colour, taste, and aroma). It also showed the variety of strategies  to study the effect of the biocontrol on productivity and quality, to investigate the effect of rootstock on productivity and fruit quality and to use new local rootstock from local tomato varieties and wild tomato species. In addition to this, FEDACOVA’s audience was able to provide feedback regarding their experience in innovation for several domains such as productivity and fruit quality at harvest and postharvest.

RUC-APS thanks Sergio Barona, and Juanjo Rico for their hospitality and insightful feedback during Juan Pablo’s secondments and for supporting this RUC-APS teaching session.

Use of conceptual models to visualize the value chain

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On May 16, Jorge Hernandez led a teaching session on the use of conceptual models to visualize the value chain, specially targeted at researchers of INIA  (Chile). This topic interesting for those who seek to develop projects at the level of the value chain and, therefore, use a standard methodology for the characterization of these. In this case, the SCOR methodology is used to conceptualize indicators and GRAI to visualize the flow of information and decisions.

Presentation is available for download here 

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RUC-APS visits the KOM lab in Darmstadt

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Alejandro Fernández presentation at KOM

During his secondment to IBSPAN (Poland), and as part of the dissemination activities of the RUC-APS project, Dr. Alejandro Fernández (from UNLP) travelled to Darmstadt, Germany. He visited the University of Darmstadt, and spent a few days of meetings and enriching discussion at KOM (the Multimedia Communications Lab).

On Thursday April 26 2018, Alejandro gave a formal presentation about the project to members of the KOM research lab. The director of KOM, Dr. Ralf Steinmetz, and the director of the research area for “Educational Media and Applications”, Dr. Christoph Rensing, attended the presentation, as well as various Ph.D students and researchers.

During the presentation, Alejandro provided an overview of the project (goals, consortium, and activities) and more details of the work-package 10, lead by UNLP. He specially asked the audience to provide feedback regarding their experience in innovation for domains such as agriculture, and product design. This resulted in a series of very interesting talks and meeting for the next day.

To conclude the presentation, Alejandro suggested attendees to consider Risk and Uncertainty in Agriculture as a potential domain for their innovations. We hope that future projects can count with the contribution of KOM.

RUC-APS thanks TUD, and KOM for their hospitality and insightful feedback during Alejandro’s visit.

PRODUCTION PLANNING & CONTROL JOURNAL SPECIAL ISSUE “Operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chains”

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Deadline: 1 November 2018

Production Planning & Control

Agri-Food supply chains can be seen as a complex network of large, medium and small producers (who grow and trade food commodities), processors (who process, manufacture and market primary and value added products), distributors (such as wholesalers and retailers that market and sell the food), consumers (who shop, purchase and consume food) and government/non-government organisations (who establish regulations that control the  agri-food supply chain).

However, growing world population, dynamic market demands, high product variety, low understanding of regulations across countries as well as the need for maintaining high standards in food growing and production are sources of uncertainty which imply a management challenge for reducing cost and waste as well as for balancing food supply and demand. Thus, collaboration among stakeholders along the agri-food supply chain is more important than ever, and the right application of operations management concepts will help to oversee the key information flows across the entire agri-food supply chain, which will guarantee an efficient decision-making process for food growing and production with a view to meeting end-customers’ specifications and satisfaction.

From this, development and re-design of agri-food supply chains will emerge, by linking relevant inputs, outputs and processes to key agri-food supply chain aspects such as continuous improvement, cost reduction and minimized imbalance between supply and demand. This will lead to the creation of a more productive and sustainable agri-food supply chain system, able to mitigate risks and uncertainties. Therefore, the study and contribution on operations management and collaboration in Agri-Food Supply Chain Systems is presented as a multi-disciplinary theme of contemporary interest and useful for both the industry as well as the academic research area, with applications in several sectors, such as: agronomy, food manufacturing, transport and logistics, strategic planning, health, legislation, marketing, economy, supply chain management, knowledge management, risk and uncertainty, innovation and ICT-based decision support systems.

Topic selection

The objective of this special issue is to identify the operations management situations where decisions are made difficult by uncertainty in the agri-food domain, within the study and implementation of Operations Management based approaches in agri-food supply chains. Contributions to this special issue are expected to provide answers to managerial research questions such as (but not limited to):

  • How are the variety of stakeholders in the agri-food supply chain affected by regulations, prices, business management and food-safety related issues?
  • How can growers and producers collaborate to reduce costs and prices in the agri-food supply chain, whilst providing safe, nutritious, accessible and affordable food to consumers?
  • In conditions of information uncertainty, how do management decisions affect food quality and waste?  How can information systems mitigate the problem?
  • How can operations management contribute to customer satisfaction in agri-food supply chains?
  • What benefits can agri-food operations management deliver for sustainable food transport and logistic whilst reducing food waste?

Contributions are expected on research that stems from an industrial need and can guide the activities of managers and future researchers. Theoretical contributions without management implications, will normally not be considered.

Submission instructions

This is an open call for full papers. High-quality papers from EURO2018 and PRO-VE 2018 will be selected by the Scientific Committee to be extended and submitted to this call, for review.

All contributions will be subjected to a single-blind review process.  Manuscripts must be sent electronically to the guest editors and should be prepared according to the Production Planning & Control guidelines that can be found at http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/journal.asp?issn=0953-7287&linktype=44

Important Dates

  • Manuscript submission deadline, 1st November 2018
  • The estimated publication, Autumn 2019

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Jorge E Hernandez, Senior Lecturer in Operations & Supply Chain Management, Management School, The University of Liverpool, Liverpool, United Kingdom.(J.E.Hernandez@liverpool.ac.uk)
  • Guest Editor: Herve Panetto, Professor of Enterprise Information Systems, Research Centre for Automatic Control, University of Lorraine, CNRS, France (Herve.Panetto@univ-lorraine.fr)
  • Guest Editor: Martin Mortimer, Professor of Agricultura Ecology, Integrative Biology Institute, University of Liverpool, Liverpool, UK, martmort@liverpool.ac.uk
  • Guest Editor: Nicola Calabrese, Food Production Innovation, CNR – Institute of Sciences of Food Production; Bari, Italy (nicola.calabrese@ispa.cnr.it)
  • Guest Editor: David Martinez, ICT Manager, Food safety systems and Value chain integration, AINIA Technological Centre, Valencia, Spain (dmsimarro@ainia.es)