Usability improvements of the Thermipig model for precision pig farming
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Pig livestock farming systems encounter several economic and environmental challenges, connected with meat price decrease, sanitary norms, emissions etc. To deal with these issues, methods and models to assess the performance of a pig production system have been developed. For instance, Thermipig model represents the pig fattening room and simulates performances of pigs at the batch level, taking into account interactions between the individual variability of pigs, farmer's practices, room characteristics and outdoor climate conditions. The model requires some static basic inputs fulfilled in several spreadsheets (such as rooms, pigs, and dietary characteristics) but also data files for voluminous variable inputs (such as outdoor temperature or climate control box parameters) for further modelling and outcome producing. This leads to challenges in data providing by the farmers and have to be improved. This paper deals with the implementation of the separate modules of the developed data warehouse system for usability improvements of the Thermipig model. The idea is to substitute input from the data files with online data input and automated variable processing by the model using the python script for connection to the remote data warehouse. The data warehouse system is extended with ‘Property Sets’ section dealing with all the operations that can be performed to a set of input variables. This approach demonstrates the ability of the data warehouse to act as data supplier for the remote model. As well the outcome of the model is also transferable back to the data warehouse for evaluation. This work is done within the Era-Net SuSan PigSys project - Improving pig system performance through a whole system approach.