Thesis subject

Open Source Software in the Agri-Food Domain (MSc)

Software technologies are gaining momentum and pervasiveness in the agri-food domain with recent developments such as smart farming and internet of food. With increasing volume and complexity of the software used in those domains, there are concerns on cost-effectiveness, flexibility and sustainability in the long term. Free open source software (FOSS) is increasingly becoming a viable and competitive alternative to commercial software and has so far proved hugely successful in many domains [1]. The benefits of FOSS for agri-food is recently getting recognized [2].

Short description

While there are vast potential benefits of FOSS for agri-food, a wide survey could reveal to what extent FOSS is used in the agri-food domain and for which particular functions. Sketching out the big picture of FOSS in agri-food use could reveal the benefits, challenges and further untapped opportunities. The detailed information gathered can be exploited, in the form of a reference framework or model, to help potential users (e.g. a new farmer wishing to transition into smart farming) to choose and employ FOSS according to their needs. Such a decision support system could greatly facilitate FOSS adoption, which would otherwise be difficult for an average user, given the complexity of the systems and needs of the users.


    In this thesis, we answer the following research questions:

    • RQ1: What is the state-of-the-art and practice of FOSS usage for agri-food in the literature and industry?
    • RQ2: For which parts and functions of the agri-food systems is FOSS currently being used?
    • RQ3: What are the current benefits, challenges and opportunities of using FOSS in agri-food?
    • RQ4: How can we build a reference framework/model as a decision support system for FOSS users to choose and employ FOSS?


      The work in this master thesis entails:

      • To collect full-text articles or PDFs from primary studies and SLRs in the agri-food domain
      • To survey practitioners in agri-food on FOSS usage
      • To analyze FOSS usage for agri-food: the extent, purpose, benefits and challenges
      • To design a reference framework/model to help users decide which FOSS to use and where
      • [Optional] To validate the reference framework with users in agri-food



          • Courses: Software Engineering (INF-32306) is beneficial
          • Required skills/knowledge: basic programming and data analytics, survey methods, interest about agri-food

            Key words: software engineering, agri-food

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