Section: Application Domains
Environmental decision making
The need of decision support systems in the environmental domain is now well-recognized. It is especially true in the domain of water quality. For instance the program, named Bretagne Eau Pure, was launched a few years ago in order to help regional managers to protect this important resource in Brittany. The challenge is to preserve the water quality from pollutants as nitrates and herbicides, when these pollutants are massively used by farmers to weed their agricultural plots and improve the quality and increase the quantity of their crops. The difficulty is then to find solutions which satisfy contradictory interests and to get a better knowledge on pollutant transfer.
In this context, we are cooperating with Inra (Institut National de Recherche Agronomique) and developing decision support systems to help regional managers in preserving the river water quality. The approach we advocate is to rely on a qualitative modeling, in order to model biophysical processes in an explicative and understandable way. The Sacadeau model associates a qualitative biophysical model, able to simulate the biophysical process, and a management model, able to simulate the farmer decisions. One of our main contribution is the use of qualitative spatial modeling, based on runoff trees, to simulate the pollutant transfer through agricultural catchments.
The second issue is the use of learning/data mining techniques to discover, from model simulation results, the discriminant variables and automatically acquire rules relating these variables. One of the main challenges is that we are faced with spatio-temporal data. The learned rules are then analyzed in order to recommend actions to improve a current situation.
This work is currently done in the framework of the Appeau project, funded by ANR and of the Accasya project, funded by ANR , having started at the beginning of 2009. We are also involved in the PSDR GO Climaster project, that started in september 2008 and will end in 2011.. Climaster stands for “Changement climatique, systèmes agricoles, ressources naturelles et développement territorial” and is dedicated to the impact of climate changes on the agronomical behaviors in west of France (Grand Ouest). PSDR GO stands for “Programme Pour et Sur le Développpement Régional Grand Ouest”.
Our main partners are the Sas Inra research group, located in Rennes and the Bia Inra and AGIR Inra research groups in Toulouse.