Scholarly Communications Project

A Case-Based Reasoner for Evaluating Crop Rotations in Whole-Farm Planning


Prabhakar V. V Bhogaraju

Thesis submitted to the Faculty of the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of



Nicholas D. Stone, Chair
Forrest W. Ravlin
David H. Vaughan

July 31, 1996
Blacksburg, Virginia


I have worked on a Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) system that evaluates crop rotations for their soil erosion and risk of insect pest problems. The purpose of this system is to provide decision support for an automated whole-farm planner (CROPS). CROPS (Buick et al., 1992) generates crop rotation plans that can address some of the environmental, economic and legislative pressures facing natural resource managers. To generate and recommend a crop rotation plan CROPS requires estimates on the soil erosion risks and pesticide pollution potential of the crop rotation. In this research I have designed and prototyped a system that can assist CROPS in the process of whole-farm planning by providing information required for determining the soil erosion risks and the pesticide pollution potential of crop rotations. Inputs for the system include: a crop rotation, its tillage and residue management practices, and field conditions. Soil erosion risk is quantified using the C-value. Pest risks are likelihood of pest outbreaks that require control in a crop rotation. CBR was the chosen methodology for system implementation. In CBR, solutions to new problem situations are derived from retrieving and adapting solutions to similar problem situations experienced in the past. The system was prototyped using Esteem, a CBR development shell, and runs on a PC under the MS. Windows operating system.

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