Optimal irrigation control: double agronomic and mathematical modeling and application to the Optirrig model

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    UMR Mathématiques, Informatique, STatistique pour l'Environnement et l'Agronomie
    Agricultural sciencesAgronomics
    Computer scienceDigital systems
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    Recognised Researcher (R2)
    Established Researcher (R3)
    Leading Researcher (R4)
    20/07/2022 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    France › Montpellier


The Optirrig model is developed at the Reserach Unit G-EAU (Montpellier) for the generation, analysis and optimization of irrigation and fertilization scenarios, for a wide variety of species (cereals, market gardening, grasslands, perennial crops, urban vegetated areas), irrigation techniques (aspersion, surface or underground drip) and uses (conventional or conservation agriculture, agricultural or urban REUSE, agroforestry)

However, Optirrig is not yet able to connect the operational horizon (a few days) and the tactical horizon (the season) and therefore to recommend decisions according to what can be expected in fine, depending on the current soil reserve, the state of development of the crop, the resources already consumed (water, nitrogen) and the weather forecasts available in the short or medium term.

To do this, a simpler mathematical model adapted to this horizon would be relevant, in order to deploy the tools of the optimal control theory that allow to obtain control strategies by feedback on the variables recorded over time (soil moisture, nitrogen conc., plant cover...). Initial work has been carried out in this direction at the Reserach Unit MISTEA (Montpellier) on simplified crop models.

The objective of this thesis project will be to extend these approaches, particularly in the context of adaptive control. The envisaged approach is to rely on a double modeling consisting in developing the simplified mathematical model (an "Optirrig companion model") of lower dimension and on which the targeted methods can provide decisional and also adaptive strategy structures, depending on unknowns over time (notably climatic).

Contact: Alain Rapaport, Sébastien Roux



Boumaza, K., Kalboussi, N., Roux, S., Rapaport, A. and Sinfort, C. (2021). Optimal control of a crop irrigation model under water scarcity. Optimal Control, Applications and Methods. https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03226630


Cheviron, B., Vervoort, R. W., Albasha, R., Dairon, R., Le Priol, C. and Mailhol, J. C. (2016). A framework to use crop models for multi-objective constrained optimization of irrigation strategies. Environmental Modelling & Software. https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-02604719


Harmand, J. Lobry, C., Rapaport, A. , Sari, T. (2019) Optimal Control in Bioprocesses: Pontryagin's Maximum Principle in Practice. Wiley. https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02045808


Habibi, I., Titah, A. (2021) Optimal control of a crop irrigation model under water scarcity. Optimization and Control. MSC report ENSEEIHT , Toulouse https://hal.inrae.fr/hal-03336769




Funding category: Contrat doctoral

half grant from INRAE, half grant from Labex Numev

PHD title: applied mathematics

PHD Country: France

More Information

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

Master's degree or engineering school with a specialization in applied mathematics - digital sciences

Knowledge in optimal control - control theory would be a plus

An interest in environmental applications and a taste for working in a multi-disciplinary environment are essential

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
UMR Mathématiques, Informatique, STatistique pour l'Environnement et l'Agronomie

EURAXESS offer ID: 784021
Posting organisation offer ID: 105489


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