The research paper “A hierarchical Markov decision process modeling feeding and marketing decisions of growing pigs” have been published in European Journal of Operational Research. Abstract: Feeding is the most important cost in the production of growing pigs and has a direct impact on the marketing decisions, growth and the final quality of the meat. In this paper, we address the sequential decision problem of when to change the feed-mix within a finisher pig pen and when to pick pigs for marketing. We formulate a hierarchical Markov decision process with three levels representing the decision process. The model considers decisions related to feeding and marketing and finds the optimal decision given the current state of the pen. The state of the system is based on information from on-line repeated measurements of pig weights and feeding and is updated using a Bayesian approach. Numerical examples are given to illustrate the features […]
The research paper “Markov decision processes to model livestock systems” have been published as a chapter in Handbook of Operations Research in Agriculture and the Agri-Food Industry. The paper gives a review of the increasing amount of papers using MDPs to model livestock farming systems and provide an overview over the recent advances within this branch of research. Moreover, theory and algorithms for solving both ordinary and hierarchical MDPs are given and possible software for solving MDPs are considered.