Overall Objectives
Research Program
Application Domains
Highlights of the Year
New Software and Platforms
New Results
Bilateral Contracts and Grants with Industry
Partnerships and Cooperations
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Section: Application Domains


Agronomy is a strong expertise domain in the area of Montpellier. Some INRA researchers (computer scientists) are members of GraphIK, and more generally we closely collaborate with the Montpellier research laboratory IATE, a join unit of INRA and other organisms. A major issue for INRA is modeling agrifood chains (i.e., the chain of all processes leading from the plants to the final products, including waste treatment). This modeling has several objectives. It provides better understanding of the processes from begin to end, which aids in decision making, with the aim of improving the quality of the products and decreasing the environmental impact. It also facilitates knowledge sharing between researchers, as well as the capitalization of expert knowledge and “know how”. This last point is particularly important in areas strongly related to a “terroir” (like in cheese or wine making), where knowledge and “know how” are transmitted by experience, with the risk of non-sustainability of the specific skills. For all these reasons, INRA became very interested in developing knowledge engineering methods. An agrifood chain analysis is a highly complex procedure since it relies on numerous criteria of various types: environmental, economical, functional, sanitary, etc. Quality objectives imply different stakeholders, technicians, managers, professional organizations, end-users, public organizations, etc. Since the goals of the implied stakeholders may be divergent, decision making raises arbitration issues. In this context, our first investigations led to identify decision support based on argumentation frameworks as a promising topic, as well as the representation and processing of preferences.