A Bayesian Probability Model Can Simulate the Knowledge of Soybean Rust Researchers to Optimize the Application of Fungicides

A Bayesian Probability Model Can Simulate the Knowledge of Soybean Rust Researchers to Optimize the Application of Fungicides

Gregory Vinícius Conor Figueiredo (Instituto Federal do Paraná, Campus Telêmaco Borba, Paraná, Brazil), Lucas Henrique Fantin (Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Brazil), Marcelo Giovanetti Canteri (Universidade Estadual de Londrina, Londrina, Brazil), José Carlos Ferreira da Rocha (Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Santos Andrade, Brazil) and David de Souza Jaccoud Filho (Universidade Estadual de Ponta Grossa, Santos Andrade, Brazil)
DOI: 10.4018/IJAEIS.2019100103

Abstract

Asian rust is the main soybean disease in Brazil, causing up to 80% of yield reduction. The use of fungicides is the main form of control; however, due to farmer's concern with outbreaks many unnecessary applications are performed. The present study aims to verify the usefulness of a probability model to estimate the timing and the number of fungicides sprays required to control Asian soybean rust, using Bayesian networks and knowledge engineering. The model was developed through interviews with rust researchers and a literature review. The Bayesian network was constructed with the GeNIe 2.0 software. The validation process was performed by 42 farmers and 10 rust researchers, using 28 test cases. Among the 28 tested cases, generated by the system, the agreement with the model was 47.5% for the farmers and 89.3% for the rust researchers. In general, the farmers overestimate the number. The results showed that the Bayesian network has accurately represented the knowledge of the expert, and also could help the farmers to avoid the unnecessary applications.
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Methodology

The model was constructed in the following three steps: (I) modelling to diagnose the disease, determined by relevant variables to predict an ASR epidemic; (II) adaptation of the created model into a qualitative model to estimate fungicide application; and (III) construction of the quantitative model. All of the developmental stages were performed using GeNIe version 2.0 (Druzdzel, 1999).

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