• Block Chain and Internet of Nano-Things for Optimizing Chemical Sensing in Smart Farming

      Vimalajeewa, Dixon; Thakur, Subhasis; Breslin, John; Berry, Donagh P.; Balasubramaniam, Sasitharan; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; 13/1A/1977; 16/RC/3835 (2020)
      The use of Internet of Things (IoT) with the Internet of Nano Things (IoNT) can further expand decision making systems (DMS) to improve reliability as it provides a new spectrum of more granular level data to make decisions. However, growing concerns such as data security, transparency and processing capability challenge their use in real-world applications. DMS integrated with Block Chain (BC) technology can contribute immensely to overcome such challenges. The use of IoNT and IoT along with BC for making DMS has not yet been investigated. This study proposes a BC-powered IoNT (BC-IoNT) system for sensing chemicals level in the context of farm management. This is a critical application for smart farming, which aims to improve sustainable farm practices through controlled delivery of chemicals. BC-IoNT system includes a novel machine learning model formed by using the Langmuir molecular binding model and the Bayesian theory, and is used as a smart contract for sensing the level of the chemicals. A credit model is used to quantify the traceability and credibility of farms to determine if they are compliant with the chemical standards. The accuracy of detecting the chemicals of the distributed BC-IoNT approach was ≥ 90% and the centralized approach was ≤ 80%. Also, the efficiency of sensing the level of chemicals depends on the sampling frequency and variability in chemical level among farms.
    • Leveraging Social Network Analysis for Characterizing Cohesion of Human-Managed Animals

      Vimalajeewa, Dixon; Balasubramaniam, Sasitharan; O'Brien, Bernadette; Kulatunga, Chamil; Berry, Donagh P.; Science Foundation Ireland; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; European Union; 13/1A/1977; 16/RC/3835; et al. (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), 2019-04)
      Social network analysis (SNA) is a technique to study behavioral dynamics within a social group. In SNA, it is an open question whether it is possible to characterize animal-level behaviors by using group-level information. Also, it was believed that the combined use of SNA would provide a more comprehensive understanding of social dynamics. In light of these two factors, here we explain an approach to evaluate animal importance to a group by considering the variability in group-level structural information, which is computed by joining the animal- and group-level SNA measures node centrality and network entropy, respectively. Moreover, two other metrics, animal social interaction range and nearest-neighbor frequency matrix, which represent a social affiliation of each animal within the group, are computed to help address the general challenges in graph-based SNA and, thereby, improve the precision of animal importance measures. Finally, we derive the joint distribution of animal importance of the group in detecting atypical social behaviors. The approach is tested using tracking data of dairy cows. The reliability of the derived animal importance was superior to the already existing animal importance measures. To illustrate the usability of the animal importance metric, a simulation study was conducted to identify sick and estrus animals in a group. The social affiliation of sick cows was less when compared to healthy cows. Also, their individual distributions of animal importance were shifted toward the left of the mean of the animal importance distributions of healthy cows. Consequently, the joint distribution of animal importance of the group exhibited a bimodal distribution with a left tailored shape. The behavior of cows in estrus was opposite to that of sick cows. Moreover, with the increasing number of sick and estrus cows in the group, respectively, the group entropy decreased with larger variance and slightly increased with less variance. Therefore, the entropy-based animal importance metric has superior performances when evaluating animal importance to the group compared to the existing metrics. It can be used for generating alerts for the early detection of atypical social behaviors associated with, for instance, animal health, veterinary, and welfare.