Origin: Why does the price of vegetables fluctuate?

In the past typhoon season (the flood season), vegetables often have price fluctuations. The civil bio-price is the most concerned matter of the people. Therefore, Dean Lin Quan asked PDIS to assist the relevant ministry to establish a platform for integrating vegetable price information before the flood season in May to provide general public enquiries for the public to face fluctuations in vegetable prices. There can be traces to avoid panic caused by lack of information or disorder. You can also choose another way to choose vegetables that are not affected by natural disasters. The problem facing PDIS is how to apply information technology, integrate the information that the ministries will have, and dispel the doubts of the people: "Why is the price of vegetables so expensive?" And this information must also be translated into structured open materials. In order to provide public information on a day-to-day basis without increasing the existing business goals of the ministry.

So we started to think about how the public understands the information about the "vegetable price" itself, what kind of information is needed every day, how the government units disclose relevant information, how the media reports, and finally affects the whole vegetable price. Fluctuation, or is it the "expected psychology" that causes bad results?

Estimation of production and consumption
Estimation of production and consumption

Enriching opinions, clarifying problems, confirming goals

After understanding the problem, we began to collect information and consult with experts, scholars, community and media friends in related fields.

In the process of opinion integration, we gradually discovered that the problem is that the information is publicly disclosed, but it is not structured. Available immediately, but lacks connected integration. Therefore, whether it is an expert or the media, it is very difficult to directly and multi-query all the information of interest to them in a short period of time. And connect them in a convenient way to make a complete analysis, report, and explanation.

At this time, thanks to the experts of the open community, they actively assist PDIS to check the available information related to the price of the vegetables, directly organize the available website content and open materials, including the most direct price-related data, and the causes that can cause price changes. Information such as: rainfall, typhoon, etc.

The above information, some are in the open data plan, and some are presented in the form of a general web page.

In order to promote data disclosure and integration as quickly as possible, it is the most direct way to quickly produce prototype applications, prove their feasibility, and demonstrate the value of data.

Over-supply assessment and low-cost duration estimation
Over-supply assessment and low-cost duration estimation

Producing fast deliverable prototypes, early detection of potential problems

After the inventory, we first lock down the meteorological rainfall data, retail market information and wholesale market information as examples of prototypes.

The Central Meteorological Administration provides stable and open information, so that the rainfall data can be interfaced very smoothly. The potential relationship between rainfall and vegetable price trends can also be easily seen on the same chart.

However, we have further discovered that the potential problem is that each vegetable has its own origin, unless it is an expert and scholar with a certain knowledge background, can choose the correct origin of a specific vegetable project, otherwise although Taiwan is not big, The vegetables in the land were put together with the rainfall of the land, or Zhang Guan Li Dai, and did not get the correct integration information.

PDIS started to present the historical information of the wholesale market and the retail market price on the webpage, quickly compile the collection program, complete the three-year historical database and present it together on the inquiry system, and directly observe the specific vegetables. Projects, such as Korean cabbage, retail market and wholesale market price fluctuations: What is the difference between today's and last year's vegetable prices, the difference between this month and last month's vegetable prices, and even the difference between these days and the previous few days? How many….

With such a process, we also find these useful information at the same time, but there is no open format that is convenient to use, and it is not even directly found in the entrance websites of various ministries. Fortunately, the friends of the COA and the community experts provided a complete source of information before they could be smoothly integrated.

Important production area meteorological data
Important production area meteorological data

Prototype Positioning

In the prototyping process, PDIS discussed the five positionings for making this prototype to ensure that the vendors that implement the system later can be used as a reference or developed for this base:

1. The platform is open to the public and the user experience is perfect

We hope to create a prototype that understands how to use it and can quickly get started and answer questions. Therefore, the design process is simple, and the way to overlay different information on the same chart is easy to read and understand.

2. Integration Information

The integration of information can be said to be the selling point of this platform, presenting the information provided by each ministry in the same interface, and sharing the interface to give people a better chance to see The organized information can then understand and analyze the trend of vegetable price fluctuations.

3. Open source code, platform interface information conforms to open data standards

and the entire prototype platform is completely open source, so that community friends have the opportunity to work together in the future, so that people who are interested in expressing opinions can Respond directly to the program, let the folk masters who are interested in assisting development or self-development have programs to refer to.

4. Platform scalability

PDIS is the first step for future manufacturers to make it easy to take over when handing over this platform. Therefore, the scalability of future information integration platform is retained in design and technology. .

5. The load capacity can load a large number of queries

Because it is expected that the query volume of this platform will be more than normal traffic before and after the flood season, in order to solve the problem that the system cannot be carried due to a large number of user queries, we In the production of this prototype, it was also based on the CDN architecture that can easily increase the load capacity. Compared with the PTX platform of the Ministry of Communications, the traffic of 1 million queries per day is used as a reference standard.

Taipei's main wholesale market trading market
Taipei's main wholesale market trading market

Cross-disciplinary professional consultation and problem solving

At the vegetable price integration platform meeting on March 3, 2017, the Agriculture and Fisheries Commission of the COA showed professional knowledge and designed 6 + 1 decision scenarios, PDIS Provide professional information architecture advice.

After the integration of the two sides, we decided to integrate the retail price, wholesale price, meteorological temperature and rainfall, rolling storage, estimated production and import volume before the arrival of the rainy season and the typhoon season. A vegetable price information platform that the general public can check.

On the spot, please also provide relevant information to provide assistance to assess the specific feasible ways to disclose information. Through the interaction and interaction of the participants, the consensus on satisfying the user experience is gradually established as much as possible: from the "Government Decision Information System" to the "Shared Information Platform for All".

Although the rolling warehousing and customs import information, because of the transaction price of the day, in order to avoid affecting the market price, can not be disclosed immediately, but also reached a compromise to provide the previous day information.

In the future, the diverse information content of related vegetable prices can be quickly checked and compared on the same platform. Whether it is for the general public or even professional analysts, there will be very convenient experience and quick access. To understanding.

Administrators at all levels can also add high-quality information to visualize their effects. For event explanations and policy communication, more persuasion and explanation tools can be added.

Optional project portfolio query
Optional project portfolio query

Continuous tracking, continuous improvement

The reason for affecting commodity prices is not only a single or a few factors, but may be affected by time changes, overall social behavior, social structural changes or changes in international situation.

Therefore, the supervisory unit and the researcher of interest need to continue to do a lot of observations before they can approach the whole picture of price changes. Taking the vegetable price system as an example, continuously increasing and adjusting the presented data will be a very important task in the future. If friends from all walks of life have specific ideas about the content and quality of the materials, they are also welcome to submit comments to the Open Data Platform (http://data.gov.tw/comments).

We hope that the vegetable price integration platform, in addition to allowing the general public to check the status and trends of vegetable prices, can also establish a more transparent and transparent basis for the provision of information, mutual coordination, and construction of the various ministries in the future. When the platform is needed, it can maintain an open mind to strengthen the foundation of mutual trust and cooperation between the public sector and the general public.

  • 2016-11-17 Agricultural Products Production and Marketing Control Mechanism and Vegetable Price Review Meeting (Reference)

  • 2016-12-16 Open Government Ministers Meeting (Reference)

  • 2016-02-08 Discussion with the President of the Open Knowledge Foundation (Reference)

2017-03-03 Researcher refactors "food price public information integration Platform" meeting (verbatim record )

  • 2017-04-06 Vegetable price public information integration platform discussion meeting (verbatim record)