Optimal Layout Design for Milk Goats Livestock Farms Using Genetic Algorithms

José Pérez, Cristina Santamarina, José J Vallés, Ana A Peña, Diego L Valera, Ángel Carreño

Abstract


In this article we present a methodology for the generation of optimal layouts in milk goats’
units, characteristic of the south of Spain. For this purpose we used the S.L.P. (Systematic
Layout Planning) methodology developed for the planning of industrial facilities, and a
computer program for layout generation based on genetic algorithms and on “slicing tree"
techniques. The genetic algorithms allow us to solve combinatory optimization problems in
a heuristic way, as in the case of the optimization of layouts. The procedure consists,
basically, of building an initial population of solutions (layouts) by means of a recursive
process of location domain cuts, so that each solution obtained can be represented by a
slicing tree and the initial population of solutions sequence can be coded by the application
of genetic operators that use a cross and mutation probability. The optimizing process is
managed by means of an objective multicriteria function that contemplates parameters of a
qualitative, quantitative and geometric character.
This methodology has been applied to two type farms that present a semi-intensive, free
housing production system, characteristic of the south of Spain, with 120 and 240 milk
goats, starting from hypotheses, obtaining in both cases good layouts that minimize the cost
of the flow of materials through the farm, which represents a saving both in costs and in
labour, and an improvement in the welfare of the animals, in short, a rational design of the
farms.

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