Track 7: Human Centred Design and Evaluation


Long Papers


 

Bayesian Classification of Disaster Events on the Basis of Icon Messages of Observers

Leon J. M. Rothkrantz, Siska Fitrianie

ABSTRACT

During major disaster events, human operators in a crisis center will be overloaded with under-stress a flood of phone calls. As an increasing number of people in and around big cities do not master the native language, the need for automated systems that automatically process the context and content of information about disaster situations from the communicated messages becomes apparent. To support language-independent communication and to reduce the ambiguity and multitude semantics, we developed an icon-based reporting observation system. Contrast to previous approaches of such a system, we link icon messages to disaster events without using Natural Language Processing. We developed a dedicated set of icons related to the context and characteristic features of disaster events. The developed system is able to compute the probability of the appearance of possible disaster events using Bayesian reasoning. In this paper, we present the reporting system, the developed icons, the Bayesian model, and the results of two experiments.

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SOMAP: Network Independent Social-Offline-Map-Mashup

Christian Reuter, Thomas Ludwig, Timo Funke, Volkmar Pipek

ABSTRACT

Maps, showing the tactical or the administrative situation at any particular time, play a central role in disaster management. They can be realized as interactive map mashups. In addition to classical information (weather, water levels, energy network, forces), they can also be used to present a view on citizen-generated content, e.g. from social media. In this paper we offer insights into how mobile map mashups can assist citizens during infrastructure failures that often occur in large-scale emergencies. Based on a review of approaches and mobile applications from literature and especially from practice, we present SOMAP (social offline map), a mobile app we developed in Android. It offers offline map functionality in terms of (A) pro-active loading and storing of potentially needed maps of the respective area as well as (B) the possibility of exchanging information from social media using Bluetooth. The application was evaluated qualitatively, to gain insights into the potential of such applications.

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Short Papers


 

Visualization of Information Flows and Exchanged Information: Evidence from an indoor fire game

Vimala Nunavath, Jaziar Radianti, Martina Comes, Andreas Prinz

ABSTRACT

Understanding information flows is essential to improve coordination information systems. Aims of such systems are typically reducing information overload and improving situational awareness. Yet, there is a lack of intuitive and easily understandable tools that help to structure and visualize the ad hoc information flows that occur during search and rescue operations. In this paper, we present the concept of such an analysis, and present findings from an indoor serious fire game. For this game, we describe the interactions of Emergency Responders (ER), including individual information (over-)load, and descriptions of content of communications. This approach therefore provides an effective way to learn about active teams, information flows, exchanged information, and overload.

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Crisis Training Software and User Needs – Research Directions

Monika Magnusson, Lena-Maria Öberg

ABSTRACT

Crisis management training software is gaining researchers’ as well as practitioners’ interest. In order to truly support organizations it is important that such software responds to actual user needs. The aim of this study is to compare existing initiative described in research with the needs of the users and to identify possible research directions for forthcoming studies. The literature review shows that discussions on users’ needs are superficial at best. The software described in research mainly focus on co-located execution of exercises, often in the form of simulations. Furthermore, a “right or wrong” behavior is usually built-in. Empirical data from a web survey indicate that flexibility in time and space during training is a fundamental user need. This is not particularly acknowledged in earlier research. Neither is the users’ wish for better support in designing exercises. We propose that system flexibility, modularity and pedagogy for computer based crisis training are urgent issues for future research. 

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Objective oriented exercise evaluation with TARCK-it

Astrid Janssen, Hanneke Vreugdenhil

ABSTRACT

Do we fully utilize the results of disaster management exercises? Do we miss valuable feedback? Many different types of disaster management exercises, command post exercises, tabletop exercises, or serious games have a specific purpose. Generally each exercise is designed to meet its own particular exercise goals. Evaluation of the exercises is achieved in many different ways. Not always guidelines for exercise evaluation are present. Generally the exercise participants’ performance is assessed by experienced staff members. The main purpose of the evaluation is to see whether the exercise goals are met. In this publication the authors suggest that a valuable source of information about the participants’ performance in exercises remains often undiscovered. A new level of information can be unlocked by evaluating the exercise using a structured, analytical method. The method TARCK-it directly compares measured participant or team performance with the exercise goals.

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Understanding the role of mobile technologies for humanitarian relief

WeiHua James Li, Julius Adebayo, Fuming Shih, Lalana Kagal

ABSTRACT

Smartphones are becoming increasingly useful in disaster management both to provide useful information to victims and to coordinate relief operations. However, a lack of technological expertise as well as considerable amount of time and cost required to build mobile applications prevents the rapid deployment of useful applications by humanitarian organizations for different crises. In this paper, we describe a participatory design workshop that we conducted at the International Committee of Red Cross to identify challenges of adopting mobile technologies within relief organizations. Through this workshop, we identified major challenges associated with developing mobile applications: lengthy development and deployment cycle, costly budget, and frequent requirement changes. We then introduced our framework that enables non-programmers to quickly develop and deploy mobile applications in these situations.  The workshop participants identified three areas where our framework improved upon existing mobile solutions: reducing data integration overhead, fast prototyping for app development, and customization of apps.

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