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A Web Based System for Calculating Carrying Capacityof Herbivores CS 470 Oran Weaver 05/18/05
System Overview • Two clients • UAA’s Department of Biology – Don Spalinger • U.S.D.A., Forest Services, Pacific Northwest Research Station – Tom Hanley • Purpose • Provide a global access point for: • Calculating carrying capacity of deer for a hectare of land with a set of nutritional constraints using Tom Hanley’s method • A user interface of a known set of nutritional data
Data Sources • Computer Models • Open source FORTRAN program developed by Tom Hanley and James Rogers • Data entry by text file • No longer used • Excel spreadsheet using a linear solve function with VBA • Current way of calculating carrying capacity • Data entry by hand • Static number of input/result fields
Data Format • Animal constraints: • Energy/protein requirements • Plant data • Energy/protein elements • Based on the available energy and protein in the food supply, how long would a deer stay in an area • A region is an area of land divided into stands • Stands are a manageable area of study
Results in Excel • Very large and static in nature
Final Product • Dynamic Structure • ASP.NET • C#
How was this created? • System Design • Session data stored for each user • Keeps track of calculator data without interfering with other users • Handles secured area for data management • Data Tables • Like an array, formatted as a table similar to an Access or SQL Server view • Allows for easy manipulation of data without affecting the actual data base • Lp_solve • Non-commercial linear programming code • Programmed by Michel Berkelaar
Web Layout Entry point for Web users Enter constraints and Title Search for plants and log into secured area Log in Enter Animal constraints Change password Import plant data Enter Plant Data Manage Plant Data Manage Stand data Manage Accounts Lp_solve View Results
Plant Plant_key* Plant_name Plant_type(fk) Plant_class(fk) Class Class_name* Class_major(fk) Type Type_name* Major Major_type* Biomass Biomass_key* Biomass_value Biomass_plant(fk) Biomass_stand(fk) Stand Stand_name* Region(fk) Region Region_name* Region_source(fk) Source Collector_author* Source(text) Data Base Design
User evaluation • Busy schedules • Clients schedules made validating the results of the calculations difficult • Proper testing requires specific scientific data and an understanding of the results • Requirements for the project were to design the calculator • Extra features were added to the project (plant data base) • More are already requested for next phase
Conclusion • I have successfully: • Designed a web application to calculate carrying capacity of herbivores using Tom Hanley’s method • Designed a web interface to search and modify known plant nutritional data using a relational data base • I learned: • Programming ASP.NET web pages using C# • Interfacing with SQL Server 2000 to add, edit and delete relational data • A better understanding of interactions between client side and server side web applications and Microsoft SQL Server 2000 interactions, could have reduced the time spent on debugging