University of Florida

ABE 6644
Agricultural Decision Systems

Semester Taught - Spring

Catalog Description

Credits: 3

Computerized decision systems for agriculture. Expert systems, decision support systems, simulations and types of applications in agriculture


Knowledge of MS Windows is assumed. Knowledge and experience with some programming language such as C++, Pascal or BASIC assumed. Basic knowledge of HTML assumed. Access to  personal computer required.  Students should bring a notebook computer with wireless connection to class.

Course Objectives

This course will cover decision systems in agriculture using artificial intelligence (AI) techniques, database management, multimedia, and the Internet/World Wide Web. Emphasis will be on applying techniques to construct working decision systems. The course will cover basic knowledge engineering and knowledge representation principles, expert systems, object-oriented design, database management, Web development tools, multimedia, search and planning, neural networks, and genetic algorithm. The course will include hands-on training in Visual Programming using Java for the Web.


Howard W. Beck
IFAS Information Technologies
Phone: 392-3797

Material/Supply Fees


Class Materials Required


All course materials are on-line at the course Web Site


JBuilder X Foundation Java Development Environment (available for free from Borland)

Class Web Site

Course Outline

(Negotiable and Subject to Change):

  • Introduction to Decision Support Systems and Artificial Intelligence - 1 Week
  • Introduction to Object-Oriented Design - 1 Week
  • Java/Internet Development - 5 Weeks
  • Database Management Systems - 2 Weeks
  • Distribute Applications Development - 1 Week
  • Expert Systems Development using JESS (Java Expert System Shell)- 2 Weeks
  • Additional Topics (XML) - 1 Week
  • Term Project Reports - 1 Week



Grading Method Percentage
Midterm Exam 20%
Final Exam 30%
Term Project 30%
Homework and class participation 20%

Academic Honesty

All students admitted to the University of Florida have signed a statement of academic honesty committing themselves to be honest in all academic work and understanding that failure to comply with this commitment will result in disciplinary action. This statement is a reminder to uphold your obligation as a UF student and to be honest in all work submitted and exams taken in this course and all others.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities

Students requesting classroom accommodation must first register with the Dean of Students Office. That office will provide the student with documentation that he/she must provide to the course instructor when requesting accommodation.

Use of Library, Personal References, PC Programs and Electronic Databases

These items are university property and should be utilized with other users in mind. Never remove, mark, modify nor deface resources that do not belong to you. If you're in the habit of underlining text, do it only on your personal copy. It is inconsiderate, costly to others, and dishonest to use common references otherwise.

Software Use

All faculty, staff and students of the University are required and expected to obey the laws and legal agreements governing software use. Failure to do so can lead to monetary damages and/or criminal penalties for the individual violator. Because such violations are also against University policies and rules, disciplinary action will be taken as appropriate. We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on-campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

  1. University Counseling Center, 301 Peabody Hall, 392-1575, personal and career counseling;
  2. Student Mental Health, Student Health Care Center, 392-1171, personal counseling;
  3. Center for Sexual Assault/Abuse Recovery and Education (CARE), Student Health Care Center, 392-1161, sexual assault counseling;
  4. Career Resource Center, Reitz Union, 392-1601, career development assistance and counseling.