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

As a student at the University of Florida, you have committed yourself to uphold the Honor Code, which includes the following pledge: “We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity.”  You are expected to exhibit behavior consistent with this commitment to the UF academic community, and on all work submitted for credit at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment." 
It is assumed that you will complete all work independently in each course unless the instructor provides explicit permission for you to collaborate on course tasks (e.g. assignments, papers, quizzes, exams). Furthermore, as part of your obligation to uphold the Honor Code, you should report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. It is your individual responsibility to know and comply with all university policies and procedures regarding academic integrity and the Student Honor Code.  Violations of the Honor Code at the University of Florida will not be tolerated. Violations will be reported to the Dean of Students Office for consideration of disciplinary action. For more information regarding the Student Honor Code, please see:  

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.