A Multi-Agent System for Modelling the Spread of Lethal Wilt in Oil-Palm Plantations

Fahy, Conor
Caraffini, Fabio
Gongora, Mario Augusto
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Peer reviewed
Lethal Wilt (Marchitez Letal) is a disease which affects Elaeis Guineensis, a plant used in the production of palm oil. The disease is increasingly common but the spatial dynamics of the infection spread remain poorly understood. It is particularly dangerous due to the speed at which it spreads and the speed at which infected plants show symptoms and die. Early identification, or even better, accurate prediction of areas at high risk of infection can slow the spread of the disease and limit crop waste. This study is based on data collected over a five-year period from an affected plantation in Colombia. The aim of the study is to analyse the collected data to better understand how the disease spreads and then to model the behaviour. Based on insights from the initial analysis a multi-agent-based system is proposed to model the pattern of infection. The model is comprised of two steps; first Kernel Density Estimation is used to create an estimation of the distribution from which newly infected plants are drawn and this density estimation is then used to direct agents on a biased-walk of the surrounding areas. Results show that the model can approximate the behaviour of the disease and can predict areas which are at high risk of future infection.
Lethal Wilt, Palm Oil, Multi-Agent System, Disease Modelling
Fahy, C., Caraffini, F., Gongora, M.A. (2020) A Multi-Agent System for Modelling the Spread of Lethal Wilt in Oil-Palm Plantations. IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence (WCCI), Glasgow, UK, July 2020.
Research Institute
Institute of Artificial Intelligence (IAI)