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Markov decision processes in the optimisation of culling decisions for Irish dairy herds

Haran, Peter Noel (1997) Markov decision processes in the optimisation of culling decisions for Irish dairy herds. Master of Science thesis, Dublin City University.

This thesis presents the development of a decision support system to optimise replacement and insemination decisions in Irish dairy herds under market conditions. The technique used was developed specifically for animal replacement problems, and is known as a ‘Hierarchic Markov Process’. The model optimises culling decisions on the basis of lactation, production level, calving date, fertility and calving interval. Production, involuntary culling rates, feed costs, carcass values and other economic factors are allowed to vary according to the traits of a particular animal. The output from the model is a series of retention payoffs (RPO) upon which culling decisions are based. RPO is the expected future return in keeping a cow for an additional stage rather than replacing her with a heifer. A study of culling rates in commercial dairy herds was also carried out and the effect of culling strategies on the genetic level of dairy herds was investigated using Monte Carlo simulation.
Item Type:Thesis (Master of Science)
Date of Award:1997
Supervisor(s):Killen, Lynn
Uncontrolled Keywords:Markov processes; Dairy farming
Subjects:Computer Science > Computer software
Computer Science > Algorithms
DCU Faculties and Centres:DCU Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Engineering and Computing > School of Computing
Use License:This item is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License. View License
ID Code:18830
Deposited On:19 Aug 2013 10:38 by Celine Campbell . Last Modified 19 Aug 2013 10:38

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