Agricultural systems are complicated and complex. They are prone to change over time due to rising environmental issues, advances in agricultural technology, changing needs of an ever-growing human society, and a dynamic economic context. A wide variety of environmental assessments are conducted, standards written to govern production, algorithms designed to optimize supply chains, and food labels created to assist in consumer decision-making However, it is a time-consuming and expensive venture to create formal models for such analyses using current methods and software.
Perceived to be environmentally benign, small to medium scale 'alternative' farms (e.g., urban farms, organic farms, hybrid systems, etc.), have been growing in popularity. On reviewing relevant literature, I found that current modeling methods and software tools are inadequate at representing and capturing essential properties of such agricultural systems. There is a mismatch between these tools and the environmental assessment needs of farmers who do not engage in large-scale industrialized agricultural practices. Therefore, the purpose of this work is to understand the means by which 'alternative' farmers assess the environmental performance of their agricultural systems and to subsequently design and develop solutions to suit their needs.
Sustainability is not supported by traditional software engineering methods. This lack of support leads to inefficient efforts to address sustainability or complete omission of this important concept. The aim of the SE4S project is to support the dimensions of sustainability - human, social, economic, environmental, and technical - within different phases of the software lifecycle, with a focus on requirements engineering (RE) and quality assurance (QA). For more, click here.
Work conducted with the California Plug Load Research Center, specifically looking into how people use power management on personal computers. This project focused on human behaviour and implications for power management settings that are decided on the policy and manufacturing end.
Research was conducted over one year as part of my Master's thesis. I aimed to develop a tool and method through which developers could gain access to energy data, enabling them to identify what major the energy sinks in their software development environment were. This work is now being ported into a general energy monitoring tool.