[PhD’s Corner] Loïc Sadou : Use of agent-based simulation and argumentation theory to better understand the diffusion and appropriation of digital tools in agriculture

Loïc Sadou is one of the #DigitAg co-funded PhDs

 

Use of agent-based simulation and argumentation theory to better understand the diffusion and appropriation of digital tools in agriculture

  • Starting date: 1st November 2020
  • University: Université Toulouse 3 Paul SABATIER
  • PhD School: MITT
  • Field(s): IT
  • Doctoral Thesis Advisor: Patrick Taillandier, Miat, Inrae
  • Co-supervisors : Rallou Thomopoulos, Miat, Inrae – Stéphane Couture, Miat, Inrae
  • Funding: #DigitAg – Inrae
  • #DigitAg: Axis1: TIC and rural societies, cross-cutting subject

Keywords: agent-based modeling, argumentation theory, innovation diffusion, communicating water meter, agricultural territory

Abstract: These last years have seen a strong development of digital technologies in agriculture, which have already largely begun to impact farmers’ practices. While these technologies offer a unique opportunity to contribute to the emergence of a more environmentally friendly agriculture, they also raise many questions about the negative effects they could be causing (inequalities between farmers, industrialization of agriculture, data ownership and leakage, etc.). This thesis project aims to study different levers that could allow the appropriation and virtuous diffusion of digital tools in agriculture. To do this, it proposes to build a simulation model to evaluate different policies (training of farmers, communication around digital tools, etc.) at the scale of a territory. The model will be based on the coupling between agent-based modeling and argumentation theory. The objective is to start from the field using methods from experimental economics and surveys, and to analyze the arguments used by the various actors on the use of these tools to propose a rich and realistic modeling of the phenomena of appropriation and diffusion of innovations. This modeling approach will be applied to study the case of communicating water meters (similar to Linky for electricity meters) among farmers in Occitanie. These tools, which could lead to better management of water resources, are now a source of tension for many farmers. The application challenge is to better understand these tensions and evaluate strategies to overcome them.

Contact: loic.sadou [AT] gmail.com – Tél : 06 73 42 78 57