Computational agroecology: Sustainable food ecosystem design

Barath Raghavan, Bonnie Nardi, Sarah T. Lovell, Juliet Norton, Bill Tomlinson, Donald J. Patterson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We propose a new domain for sociotechnical system design: creating new ecosystems for food production that are sustainable while producing high yields. Drawing on the field of agroecology, we discuss techniques for allowing a range of users to design sustainable food ecosystems that can overcome the environmental costs of industrial agriculture. Industrial agriculture, relying on declining reserves of fossil fuels and generating increasingly costly externalities, is unsustainable. Agroecology cannot scale until practitioners have access to detailed knowledge of local conditions and appropriate agricultural strategies. This paper reviews the agricultural and sustainability challenges that motivate our research. It describes design problems that must be addressed to scale agroecology. We discuss our initial work, and sketch a program of research we believe will contribute to global food security.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI EA 2016
Subtitle of host publication#chi4good - Extended Abstracts, 34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450340823
StatePublished - May 7 2016
Event34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2016 - San Jose, United States
Duration: May 7 2016May 12 2016

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other34th Annual CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI EA 2016
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose


  • Agroecology
  • Sustainable HCI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design


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