Design of a Model-Driven Web Decision Support System in Agriculture: From Scientific Models to the Final Software

  • Loudovic Tambour
  • Vianney Houlès
  • Laurence Cohen-Jonathan
  • Valerie Auffray
  • Pierre Escande
  • Eric Jallas
Part of the Springer Optimization and Its Applications book series (SOIA, volume 25)


This chapter aims at introducing a new type of design of decision support systems (DSSs). The DSS presented here is a software based on client–server technology that enables great accessibility by the Web. Its conception flow has been established to be generic and not explicitly problem-oriented. In this way, once the first DSS is built, the creation of other DSSs will be easy and time-saving. The creation of the DSS requires the collaboration of different experts such as agronomists, computer specialists, and interface experts. Their communication is improved by the use of the formal language Unified Modeling Language (UML) throughout the process of software design. The relevance of the DSS comes from its use of scientific mechanistic models adapted to the users’ needs and from a flexible architecture that allows easy software maintenance. The chapter is structured as follows: after the introduction, the second section will explain in detail the methods used to build the scientific models that describe the biological system. The third section describes the methods for the validation and implementation of those models, and the fourth section deals with the transcription of the models into software components processable in the DSS. Finally, the last section of this chapter describes the architecture of the client–server application.


Unify Modeling Language Design Pattern Software Architecture Risk Indicator Configuration File 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


  1. 1.
    Rouzet J., Pueyo C., “Modèles de prévision et conseil phytosanitaire. Bilan des modèles en France, aperçu américain et perspectives”;, Phytoma, 591: 32–36, 2006.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Decoin M., “OAD vus par la SdQPV, du côté des modèles”, Phytoma, 603: 24–25, 2007.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Munier-Jolain N.M., Savois V., Kubiak P., Maillet-Mezeray, J. Jouy L., Quere L., “Decid'Herb : un logiciel d'aide au choix d'une méthode de lutte contre les mauvaises herbes pour une agriculture respectueuse de l'environnement”, Proceeding AFPP – 19ième conférence du Columa – journées internationales sur la lutte contre les mauvaises herbes, Dijon, Décembre 2004.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
  5. 5.
    Booch G., Rumbaugh J., Jacobson I., “The Unified Modeling Language User Guide”, Addison-Wesley, 1999.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Jones C.A., Kiniry J.R., “;CERES-maize, a Simulation Model of Maize Growth and Development”, A&M University Press, 1986.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Brisson N., Mary B., Ripoche D., Jeuffroy M.H., Ruget F., Nicoullaud B., Gate P., De-vienne-Barret F., Antonioletti R., Durr C., Richard G., Beaudoin N., Recous S., Tayot X., Plenet D., Cellier P., Machet J.M., Meynard J.M., Delecolle R., “STICS: a Generic Model for the Simulation of Crops and Their Water and Nitrogen Balances. I. Theory and Parame-terization Applied to Wheat and Corn”, Agronomie, 18: 311–346, 1998.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Luquet D., Dingkuhn M., Kim H.K., Tambour L., Clément-Vidal A., “ EcoMeristem, a Model of Morphogenesis and Competition Among Sinks in Rice : 1. Concept, Validation and Sensitivity Analysis ”, Functional Plant Biology, 33(4): 309–323, 2006.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Louarn G., “Analyse et modélisation de l'organogenèse et de l'architecture du Rameau de la vigne (Vitis vinifera L.)”, thesis PhD, école nationale supérieure agronomique de Montpellier, 2005.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Jallas E., Martin P., Sequeira R., Turner S., Crétenet M., Gérardeaux E., “Virtual COTONS®, the Firstborn of the Next Generation of Simulation Model”, NLAI 1834, pp. 235–245, Springer, 2000.Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Costes E., Guedon T., “Modelling the Sylleptic Branching on One-Year-Old Trunks of Apple Cultivars”, Journal of the American Society of Horticultural Science, 122: 53–62, 1997.Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Seleznyova A.N., Thorp T.G., Barnett A.M., Costes E., “Quantitative Analysis of Shoot Development and Branching Patterns in Actinidia”, Annals of Botany, 89: 471–482, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Buhlmann P., Wyner A.J., “Variable Length Markov Chains”, The Annals of Statistics, 27: 480–513, 1999.MathSciNetCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Nozeran R., “Réflexions sur les enchaînements de fonctionnement au cours du cycle des végétaux supérieurs”, Bull. Soc. Bot. Fr., 125: 263–280, 1978.Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vanderplank J.E., “Plant Diseases: Epidemics and Control”, Academic Press, 1963.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Fleming R.A., “Development of a simple mechanistic model of cereal rust progress.“ Phytopathology, 73(2): 308–312, 1983.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Keeling M.J., Rohani P., “Estimating spatial coupling in epidemiological systems: a mechanistic approach”, Ecology Letters, 5(1): 20–29, 2002.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Passioura J.B., “Simulation models: snake oil, education, or engineering? ” Agronomy Journal, 88: 690–694, 1996.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
  20. 20.
    Makowski D., Hillier J., Wallach D., Andrieu B., Jeuffroy M.H., “Parameter estimation for crop models” in: “Working with Dynamic Crop Models – Evaluation, Analysis, Parameterization, and Applications”, pp. 101–140, Wallach D., Makowski D., and Jones J.W. (eds), Elsevier, 2006.Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Saltelli A., Chan K., Scott E.M., “Sensitivity Analysis”. Wiley, 2000.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Saltelli A., Tarantola S., Campolongo F., Ratto F., “Sensitivity Analysis in Practice”, Wiley, 2004.Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Wallach D., Makowski D., and Jones J.W, “Working with Dynamic Crop Models – Evaluation, Analysis, Parameterization, and Applications”, Wallach D., Makowski D., and Jones J.W. (eds), Elsevier, 2006.Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Monod H., Naud C., Makowski D., “Uncertainty and sensitivity analysis for crop models”, in: “Working with Dynamic Crop Models – Evaluation, Analysis, Parameterization, and Applications”, pp. 55–96, Wallach D., Makowski D., and Jones J.W. (eds), Elsevier, 2006.Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Wallach D., “Evaluating crop models” in: “Working with Dynamic Crop Models – Evaluation, Analysis, Parameterization, and Applications”, pp. 11–50, Wallach D., Makowski D., and Jones J.W. (eds), Elsevier, 2006.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Delannoy C., “Programmer en langage C”, Eyrolles, 1997.Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Delannoy C., “Programmer en langage C++”, Eyrolles, 1998.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Niemeyer P., Knudsen J., “Introduction à JAVA“, O'Reilly, 2002.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Martin M., “Programmeur Delphi 2005”, CampusPress, 2005.Google Scholar
  30. 30.
  31. 31.
  32. 32.
  33. 33.
  34. 34.
  35. 35.
  36. 36.
    Cier P., Dorin R., “Excel 2000 en pratique”, Dunod, 1999.Google Scholar
  37. 37.
    Gamma E., Helm R., Johnson R., Vlissides J., “Design Patterns Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software”, Addison-Wesley, 1995.Google Scholar
  38. 38.
    Porter C.H., Braga R., Jones J.W., “An Approach for Modular Crop Model Development”, Agricultural and Biological Engineering Department, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida, available at, 1999.
  39. 39.
    Papajorgji P., Pardalos P., “Software Engineering Techniques Applied to Agricultural Systems, an Object-Oriented and UML Approach”, Springer, 2005.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Johnson R., Hoeller J. “Expert One-on-One J2EE Development without EJB ”, Wiley Publishing, 2004.Google Scholar
  41. 41.
    Fowler M.,“Inversion of Control Containers and the Dependency Injection pattern”,, 2004.
  42. 42.
    King G., Bauer C., “Hibernate in action”, Manning Publications, 2004.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Salvatori O., Patricio A, “Hibernate 3.0”, Eyrolles, 2005.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Loudovic Tambour
    • 1
  • Vianney Houlès
  • Laurence Cohen-Jonathan
  • Valerie Auffray
  • Pierre Escande
  • Eric Jallas
  1. 1.SAS ITKMontpellier

Personalised recommendations