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A critical assessment of neural networks as meta-model of a farm optimization model

Claudia Seidel, Linmei Shang and Wolfgang Britz

No 338200, Discussion Papers from University of Bonn, Institute for Food and Resource Economics

Abstract: Mixed Integer programming (MIP) is frequently used in agricultural economics to solve farm-level optimization problems, but it can be computationally intensive especially when the number of binary or integer variables becomes large. In order to speed up simulations, for instance for large-scale sensitivity analysis or application to larger farm populations, meta-models can be derived from the original MIP and applied as an approximator instead. To test and assess this approach, we train Artificial Neural Networks (ANNs) as a meta-model of a farm-scale MIP model. This study compares different ANNs from various perspectives to assess to what extent they are able to replace the original MIP model. Results show that ANNs are promising for meta-modeling as they are computationally efficient and can handle non-linear relationships, corner solutions, and jumpy behavior of the underlying farm optimization model.

Keywords: Agricultural and Food Policy; Farm Management; Research Methods/ Statistical Methods (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 34
Date: 2023-08-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-agr, nep-big and nep-cmp
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DOI: 10.22004/ag.econ.338200

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