Track 10: Decision Support Systems


Long Papers


 

Automated Analysis and Adaptation of Disaster Response Processes with Place-Related Restrictions

Marlen Hofmann, Hans Betke, Stefan Sackmann

ABSTRACT

For recent years, disaster response management is considered as a promising field for applying methods and tools from business process management. Especially the development of adaptive workflow management systems (WfMS) brought a process-oriented management of highly dynamic disaster response processes (DRP) within tangible reach. However, time criticality, unpredictability or complex and changing disaster reality make it impossible to analyze and adapt ongoing DRP within reasonable time manually. Hence, to foster the application of disaster response WfMS in practice, it becomes mandatory to develop methods supporting an (semi-)automated analyses and adaption of ongoing DRP. Addressing this research gap, we present a novel method called DRP-ADAPT which analyzes given DRP models with respect to place-related conflicts and resolves inoperable response activities (semi-)automatically by process adaptation.

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Beyond Early: Decision Support for Improved Typhoon Warning Systems

Tina Comes, Brice Mayag, Elsa Negre

ABSTRACT

Warnings can help prevent damage and harm if they are issued timely and provide information that help responders and population to adequately prepare for the disaster to come. Today, there are many indicator and sensor systems that are designed to reduce disaster risks, or issue early warnings. In this paper we analyze the different systems in the light of the initial decisions that need to be made in the response to sudden onset disasters. We outline challenges of current practices and methods, and provide an agenda for future research.

To illustrate our approach, we present a case study of Typhoon Haiyan. Although meteorological services had issued warnings; relief goods were prepositioned; and responders predeployed, the delivery of aid was delayed in some of the worst hit regions. We argue for an integrated consideration of preparedness and response to provide adequate thresholds for early warning systems that focus on decision-makers needs.

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A Scenario-based approach for analyzing complex cascading effects in Operational Risk Management

Miguel Ramírez de la Huerga, Victor A. Bañuls, Murray Turoff

Abstract

This is the first paper to apply Cross Impact Analysis (CIA) and Interpretative Structural Modeling (ISM) methods for analyzing complex cascading effects in Operational Risk Management in an industrial environment. Its main objective is to improve the understanding of the overall picture of an organization’s risks. The paper summarizes the development of a CIA-ISM method of the interaction of 18 critical events of an industrial plant as a first step to improving organizational resilience based on the company's own estimations as well as the estimates of a panel. The main benefit of using these methods is to know the relationships between different risks and consequences, direct links, indirect and cascading effects. Having the  possibility of knowing a full risk map and being able to make a forecast will help to mitigate the unexpected effects and have a better response after an emergency situations is the same as being more resilient.

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Introspect Model: Competency Assessment in the Virtual World

Katherine Lamb, Martijn Boosman, Jim Davies

Abstract

Over the last decade the number of operational incidents responded to, has the UK Fire and Rescue Service has diminished by approximately 40% (Knight, 2013). This reduction in incident number and consequential experiential learning opportunities has resulted in a deterioration of incident evaluation skills by the incident commanders. This paper will detail the application of the ‘Introspect model’ in conjunction with the use of XVR simulation software, within Oxfordshire Fire & Rescue Service (OFRS). The model has been applied in development sessions and during competence assessment over the last 6 years. In 2009, only 45% of those candidates assessed, demonstrated the desired level of competence, compared to over 70% in 2014. The ‘Introspect model’focuses on the understanding of decision rationale, striving towards a state of unconscious competence within the crisis decision maker at the incident, to effectively compensate for the skill fade or inexperience, due to diminished incident exposure.

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Short Papers


 

Next Generation, Secure Cloud-based Pan-European Information System for Enhanced Disaster Awareness

Maike Kuhnert, Christian Wietfeld, Olivier Paterour, Alexander Georgiev, Katrina Petersen, Monika Büscher, Jens Pottebaum

ABSTRACT

Information management in disaster situations is challenging, yet critical for efficient response and recovery. Today information flows are difficult to establish, partial, redundant, overly complex or insecure, besides the interoperability between heterogeneous organisations is limited. This paper presents a novel system architecture that enables combining of several communication technologies in a secure manner. This supports creation of a pan-European ‘Common Information Space’ by rescue organizations that can enable more efficient and effective information management in disaster response. Moreover, this technology can be used for disaster preparedness (e.g., training, tutorials). The modular architecture is designed to consider future evolutions of technology by defining interfaces for the integration of new technologies and services.

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Humanitarian Value Stream Mapping: Application to the EBOLA Outbreak

Laura Laguna Salvadó, Matthieu Lauras, Tina Comes

ABSTRACT

Humanitarian Supply Chain Management serves as bridge between needs and aid provided. Flows of goods and information connect the field to headquarters, distribution to procurement, beneficiaries to donors. The problems of decision-making, information sharing and coordination can be studied with this special logistics focus. We present a Value Stream Mapping approach that provides a structure to analyze and understand the problems arising in practice, such as bottlenecks; waiting times; or misaligned procurement and distribution policies. We demonstrate our lean-management approach by using the ongoing Ebola Outbreak in West Africa as Case Study. 

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Insights from an ethnographic study of a foreign response team during the EBOLA Outbreak in Liberia

Jonas Landgren

ABSTRACT

Organizing response operations during large-scale and complex disasters requires an ability to meet and adapt to sudden changes of plans. This paper presents descriptive accounts from an ethnographic field study of the work of a foreign Ebola response team during the Ebola outbreak on location in Liberia. The findings illustrate how response work is subject to frequent and rapid changes that result in unforeseen consequences that could cause frictions and dilemmas. The findings imply tentative implications for design, suggesting a need for improved decision support for re-planning and re-designing of ongoing response operations. 

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Towards a taxonomy of crisis management simulation tools

Anne-Marie Barthe-Delanoë, Sébastien Truptil, Frédérick Bénaben

ABSTRACT

Experimentation is an essential element to improve crisis management and to assess crisis management tools. Unfortunately, for the moment, real crisis management experimentations are episodic and generally focus on a specific geographical and/or thematic area. This is why the European DRIVER project aims to provide a test-bed platform where crisis management testing and experimentation can be carried out with a mix of live and simulated actions. To achieve this goal, simulation tools have to be identified, described and classified in order to (i) help the user to select tools and models based on the experimentation requirements and (ii) to allow the DRIVER platform to insure exchange information between simulated actions and live actions. This paper focuses on the taxonomy used to classify simulation tools relevant for crisis management. This taxonomy is divided into three main categories of characteristics: (i) business (type/topic of the simulation), (ii) legal (terms of use), (iii) technical (integration within the DRIVER platform and/or other crisis management (simulation) tools). 

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Understanding the information needs of field-based decision-makers in humanitarian response to sudden onset disasters

Erica Gralla, Jarrod Goentzel, Bartel Van de Walle

ABSTRACT

The development and spread of new technology and the internet has opened a new world of possibilities to gather data and create information in a crisis. However, it is not clear which information field managers require to make the best possible decisions. As a result, it is difficult for volunteers, technology developers, and others, to collect and analyze data that results in information that is accessible and actionable for decision makers. To understand the information requirements of humanitarian responders, a workshop was conducted, bringing together eighteen experienced humanitarian responders. The results of the workshop include preliminary frameworks for decisions and information requirements that are common during the initial phases of a sudden onset disaster. These frameworks will help volunteer and technical communities to understand the information field decision-makers require to make the best possible decisions.

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Criteria affecting people’s decision to take protective measures during winter storm XAVER on 5 December 2013

Thomas Kox

Abstract

This paper discusses the impact of different dimensions of risk perception on people’s decision to take protective measures against natural hazards. Initial basis of the analysis was the winter storm XAVER which affected huge parts of Northern Europe including Berlin, Germany on 5 December 2013. Preliminary results of a representative online survey within the Berlin population show that affective variables such as fear of severe weather and confidence in weather forecasts showed a significant effect on people’s decision to take protective action. Contrary, high experience of natural hazards did not necessarily lead to action.

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Using Crowd Modelling in Evacuation Decision Making

B.J. Vreugdenhil, N. Bellomo, P.S. Townsend

ABSTRACT

Public spaces are created to be used, and large crowds gather in many buildings and external spaces. Maintaining a high level of safety for these people is of utmost importance. Cameras are used for security reasons by control room personnel, who also monitor crowd movements in case of emergency. Crowd modelling can be used to detect and analyse time dependent and space dependent crowd behaviour. Despite the large amount of raw visual information being processed, crowd modelling has not been dedicated yet to evacuation decision making. Predictive information can assist the decision maker in assessing the situation in the early stages, potentially preventing the need for an evacuation. If evacuation is inescapable, a decision maker can use crowd modelling to define the quickest and safest evacuation routes. This kind of decision support will reduce the number of deaths that occur before and during an evacuation.

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Collaborative Information Sensemaking for Multi-Robot Search and Rescue

Vladimir Zadorozhny, Pei-Ju Lee, Michael Lewis

ABSTRACT

In this paper, we consider novel information sensemaking methods for search and rescue operations that combine principles of information fusion and collective intelligence in scalable solutions. We will elaborate on several approaches that originated in different areas of information integration, sensor data management, and multi-robot urban search and rescue missions.  

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Using Precedence Diagram Method in Process-Oriented Disaster Response Management

Marlen Hofmann, Stefan Sackmann, Hans Betke

ABSTRACT

When planning and modeling disaster response processes (DRP), the unpredictability of disasters precludes accounting for all eventualities in advance. DRPs are thus typically concretized and adapted after the disaster and during the process’s run-time. Since time is critical and uncertainty typical, planning of DRPs requires methods and tools that support disaster managers in process analysis, process adaptation, and decision making. This contribution presents an approach for identifying concurrent activities that, in needing identical resources at the same time in different locations, are jeopardized by such place-related conflicts. As solution, the approach allows managers to calculate valid execution sequences, eliminate place-related conflicts, and prioritize activities by total execution time. Results are shown to form a novel, reliable basis for contributing to disaster managers’ decision support.

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Intuition or deliberation – How do professionals make decisions in action?

Heather M. Fuchs, Norbert Steigenberger, Thomas Lübcke

ABSTRACT

Despite intense research on decision-making in action, we still know little about when decision-makers rely on deliberate vs. intuitive decision-making in decision situations under complexity and uncertainty. This paper studies decision-making modes (deliberate vs. intuitive) in complex task environments contingent on perceived complexity, experience, and decision style preference. We find that relatively inexperienced decision-makers respond to increases in subjective complexity with an increase in deliberation and tend to follow their decision style preference. Experienced decision-makers are less guided by their decision preference and respond to increases in subjective complexity only minimally. Our paper contributes to a developing stream of research linking decision-making with intra-personal and environmental properties and fosters our understanding of the conditions under which decision-makers rely on intuitive vs. deliberate decision modes. In doing so, we go one step further towards a comprehensive theory of decision-making in action.

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A Framework for Shelter Location Decisions by Ant Colony Optimization

Hossein Baharmand, Tina Comes

ABSTRACT

Earthquakes frequently destroy the homes and livelihoods of thousands. One of the most important concerns after an earthquake is to find a safe shelter for the affected people. Because of large numbers of potential locations, the multitude of constraints (e.g. access to infrastructures; security); and the uncertainty prevailing (e.g., number of places required) the identification of optimal shelter locations is a complex problem. Nevertheless, rapidly locating shelters and transferring the affected people to the nearest shelters are high priority in crisis situations. In this paper, we develop a framework based on Ant Colony Optimization (ACO) to support decisions-makers in the response phase. Using the same framework, we also derive recommendations for urban planning in the preparedness phase. We demonstrate our method with a case focusing on the city of Kerman, in Iran.

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Putting plans on track in unforeseen situations

Bruna Diirr, Marcos Borges, David Mendonça

ABSTRACT

The dynamically evolving environment of the post-disaster scene—where unpredictable scenarios and uncertain data are commonplace—can bring about considerable complexity into response tasks. The multiplicity and interdependence of approaches to undertaking these tasks may yield many decision alternatives, further complicating the response effort. Additionally, because emergencies are evolving, expectations regarding the post-disaster scene may not match those that are actually encountered. Plans compiled before the disaster may therefore be judged as inadequate, requiring personnel to adjust or even redefine them during the response activities. This paper outlines and illustrates one approach—drawing upon the paradigm of improvisation—for providing management-level response personnel with information and tools to support on-the-fly adaptation of emergency response plans. A case study illustrates the approach application.

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Decentralized Evacuation System Based on Occupants Distribution and Building Information

Yaping Ma, Hui Zhang, Tao Chen, Rui Yang

ABSTRACT

Effective evacuation is critical for safety of occupants. The exiting evacuation systems lack flexibility and don’t consider the distribution of occupants. It is possible to direct occupants to danger areas or cause congestion in certain areas. In this paper, a decentralized evacuation system is proposed to compute the safest path in real time. The system is composed of fire detection sensors, zone controllers, elevator sensors, human tracking and monitoring systems and dynamic egress signs. All devices are placed at the predetermined locations based on integrated design of the building. The entire building is divided into many basic zones which are operating quite independently, and global information is communicated to neighboring zones and consequently to entire network by zone controllers. The system acts in decentralized fashion. The elevator and dynamic factors are considered in guidance system. Simulations are performed to determine the advantage of the system.

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SmartRescue: Architecture for Fire Crisis Assessment and Prediction

Mehdi Ben Lazreg, Jaziar Radianti, Ole-Christoffer Granmo

ABSTRACT

In case of indoor fire hazards, firefighters face difficulties at assessing the fire situation and evacuating trapped victim inside the building,  especially when the fire is big, and the building is unknown to them. On the other hand, modern sensor technologies in smartphone are becoming more advanced, widespread, and can be exploited for helping the firefighting operation. This paper proposes using smartphones as a distributed sensing and computing platform, for supporting firefighters to conduct their mission. The developed solution is based on collecting sensor data from smartphones. A Bayesian network then uses this data to generate a picture of the fire and predict its development. The additional indoor positioning feature make this proposed solution a promising tool to make the firefighter intervention more efficient and fast in order to save more lives.

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