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Optimizing Production Decisions Using a Hybrid Simulation-Genetic Algorithm Approach

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  • Oliver Musshoff
  • Norbert Hirschauer

Abstract

"Mathematical programming has for a long time been recognized as a powerful tool. Despite its capacity for solving constrained optimization problems under uncertainty, some methodological obstacles have persisted over the years. The main problem is that the eventually complex results of an unbiased statistical analysis (multiple correlated stochastic variables with different distributions and nonadditive links between) cannot be adequately accounted for within minimization of total absolute deviation (MOTAD) or expected value-variance (EV) models that rely on the algorithmic determination of the variability measure. In this paper, we develop a methodological hybrid consisting of Monte Carlo simulation and genetic algorithms: the Monte Carlo simulation facilitates the easy representation of diverse stochastic processes and correlation, and the genetic algorithm ensures that the optimization procedure remains applicable even in the case of complex stochastic information. This hybrid approach is applied to the production-planning problem of a German crop farm. Variant calculations are used to account for the unknown risk attitude of the farmer. Model results demonstrate that optimized production programs and expected total gross margins are not only highly sensitive to the risk attitude, but also to the stochastic processes that are estimated (or assumed) for various activities. We furthermore find evidence that the hybrid approach is able to generate considerable improvement in farm-program decisions and outperforms planning models that assume static distributions." Copyright (c) 2009 Canadian Agricultural Economics Society.

Suggested Citation

  • Oliver Musshoff & Norbert Hirschauer, 2009. "Optimizing Production Decisions Using a Hybrid Simulation-Genetic Algorithm Approach," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 57(1), pages 35-54, March.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:canjag:v:57:y:2009:i:1:p:35-54
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. K. J. Arrow, 1964. "The Role of Securities in the Optimal Allocation of Risk-bearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 31(2), pages 91-96.
    2. John L. Dillon & Pasquale L. Scandizzo, 1978. "Risk Attitudes of Subsistence Farmers in Northeast Brazil: A Sampling Approach," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 60(3), pages 425-435.
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    5. Michele John & David Pannell & Ross Kingwell, 2005. "Climate Change and the Economics of Farm Management in the Face of Land Degradation: Dryland Salinity in Western Australia," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 53(4), pages 443-459, December.
    6. Myles J. Watts & Larry J. Held & Glenn A. Helmers, 1984. "A Comparison of Target MOTAD to MOTAD," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 32(1), pages 175-186, March.
    7. Dickey, David A & Fuller, Wayne A, 1981. "Likelihood Ratio Statistics for Autoregressive Time Series with a Unit Root," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 49(4), pages 1057-1072, June.
    8. Hardaker, J. Brian & Pandey, Sushil & Patten, Louise H., 1991. "Farm Planning under Uncertainty: A Review of Alternative Programming Models," Review of Marketing and Agricultural Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 0(Number 01), pages 1-14, April.
    9. Paul V. Preckel & Eric DeVuyst, 1992. "Efficient Handling of Probability Information for Decision Analysis under Risk," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 74(3), pages 655-662.
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    Cited by:

    1. Kellner, Ulla & Musshoff, Oliver, 2011. "Precipitation or water capacity indices? An analysis of the benefits of alternative underlyings for index insurance," Agricultural Systems, Elsevier, vol. 104(8), pages 645-653, October.
    2. Sergey S. Rabotyagov & Manoj Jha & Todd D. Campbell, 2010. "Nonpoint-Source Pollution Reduction for an Iowa Watershed: An Application of Evolutionary Algorithms," Canadian Journal of Agricultural Economics/Revue canadienne d'agroeconomie, Canadian Agricultural Economics Society/Societe canadienne d'agroeconomie, vol. 58(s1), pages 411-431, December.
    3. Robert Finger & Nadja El Benni, 2012. "A Note on Price Risks in Swiss Crop Production – Empirical Results and Comparisons with other Countries," Journal of Socio-Economics in Agriculture (Until 2015: Yearbook of Socioeconomics in Agriculture), Swiss Society for Agricultural Economics and Rural Sociology, vol. 5(1), pages 131-151.
    4. Finger, Robert, 2012. "Modeling the sensitivity of agricultural water use to price variability and climate change—An application to Swiss maize production," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 135-143.

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