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Thesis Defense - Hoenigman

ECOT 831

Optimizing Implicit Plant Interactions to Conserve Water on Residential Landscapes
Computer Science PhD Candidate

In drought-prone environments, interactions between plants can enable species to conserve water. The physical location of each individual not only influences its resource needs, but also affects the availability of resources on the landscape. In this talk, I will show how modeling this natural behavior presents a new optimization approach for water conservation in residential systems in drought-prone climates. In this research, the arrangement of plants on a landscape is treated as a novel location optimization problem, where the objective is to find the best locations for a given set of plants on a landscape with a given set of resources. I will present an agent-based model in which each plant is an agent that "lives" on a simulated landscape and the value of a plant arrangement is defined by a multi-objective fitness function that captures the growth of the plant agents and the efficiency of their water use. Numerical simulations and an experiment with live plants arranged in an optimized configuration demonstrate the success of this approach for reducing water use.

Committee: Elizabeth Bradley, Professor (Chair)
Richard Byrd, Professor
Nikolaus Correll, Assistant Professor
Nichole Barger, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Manuel Laguna, Leeds School of Business

See also:
Department of Computer Science
College of Engineering and Applied Science
University of Colorado Boulder
Boulder, CO 80309-0430 USA
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May 5, 2012 (13:40)