Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Animal, Dairy, and Veterinary Sciences

Committee Chair(s)

Robert C. Lamb


Robert C. Lamb


Jerry Halterman


An expert system for identifying cows to be culled, MAXCULL, was programmed to run on an IBM or compatible personal computer. It was designed to be used with Dairy Herd Improvement (DHI) records as an aid in decision making. MAXCULL used fifty-two health, seventeen reproduction, and thirty-nine production rules in the analysis.

MAXCULL was initially developed using two expert system tools. VP-Expert and Super Expert both had inductive abilities and were reasonably priced. VP-Expert was selected to continue the development of the MAXCULL system. The program used a rule-based method of storing knowledge, which was obtained from literature reviewed in the health, reproduction and management areas. Three blocks of rules were developed. MAXCULL used a backward-chaining control strategy.

The information on each cow was obtained from a special report obtained from DHI Provo. The diagnosis from MAXCULL produced an explanation paragraph identifying possible reasons for removing the cow. Twenty herds with DHI records were identified, ten assigned as controls and ten to be evaluated with the MAXCULL system. General linear model procedures were used to compare thirteen variables after using MAXCULL for one year. No significant differences were noted for any of the variables. The chi-square analysis showed that the decisions of MAXCULL were significantly different from the decisions of the manager. The final survey supports the idea that dairy management expertise can be provided to the dairy manager through an expert system.



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