Communication and Information Systems Technology for Crisis and Disaster Management Minitrack

Permanent URI for this collection

This minitrack provides a venue for systemic and holistic issues related to all phases in the disaster management cycle: Prevention and mitigation; preparedness; alert; response; recovery; and post disaster. Papers that address advancing any of these aspects through technical, organizational, or behavioral change are encouraged. These may include simulation studies, case-based research, empirical studies, and other applications of quantitative and qualitative methods, but also technological contributions with cross-disciplinary flavor (e.g., HCI, interoperability, etc).

Topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Social media and Human Centered Sensing for collaboration in emergencies and disasters
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI) based content management, disaster mapping, pattern recognition, triage and prioritization of assistance
  • Case studies; collaborative integration of theory and practice
  • Advances in crisis management methods and practice
  • Security and safety models for emergency management systems
  • Self-help schemes and eHealth for disasters and emergencies
  • Crisis informatics
  • Computational simulation of collaboration in crisis situations
  • Culture-dependent learning and training and context dependent self-help information (both national culture and organizational culture could apply)
  • Group and team performance in crisis and disaster management with integrated systems and collective intelligence methodologies
  • Collaboration and interoperability at technical and/or operational level
  • Mobile ad-hoc networks for emergencies
  • Propagation and channel modeling of typical disaster areas and crisis regions

Minitrack Co-Chairs:

Julie Dugdale (Primary Contact)
MAGMA Team, Laboratoire d'Informatique de Grenoble (UMR 5217)

Jose Julio Gonzalez
Centre for Integrated Emergency Management (CIEM), University of Agder, Norway

Murray Turoff
Information Systems Department
New Jersey Institute of Technology


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 10 of 11
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    Wisdom of Crowds for Reliable Discussion and Need Finding: A Case Study of Information Sharing Regarding Radiation after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster
    ( 2017-01-04) Ishigaki, Yang ; Matsuno, Yutaka ; Bando, Koichi ; Tanaka, Kenji
    This action research adopts a case study approach of reliability assurance and need finding for radiation monitoring on social media communication through the development and use of Pocket Geiger (POKEGA), a smartphone-connected radiation detector developed after the Fukushima Nuclear Disaster in Japan. We also facilitated the use of an inclusive Facebook community for radiation monitoring established by volunteer experts and normal users. Interaction through this social media led to credible discussions and enabled dose verification among users. It is important to grasp, at least roughly, the potential needs of and/or information required by users, especially those living in and around affected areas, from among the numerous topics posted by regular citizens and radiation experts on social media. Therefore, we developed a Web service called Crowd Talks to summarize and visualize discussions within the POKEGA community. This tool provides quick analysis and visualization of discussion topics from POKEGA Facebook posts based on natural language processing algorithms such as MeCab, latent Dirichlet allocation, and principal component analysis. Our results suggested that Crowd Talks was able to identify major topic clusters from the Facebook community.
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    The Social Media Intelligence Analyst for Emergency Management
    ( 2017-01-04) Power, Robert ; Kibell, Justin
    The Social Media Intelligence Analyst is a new operational role within a State Control Centre in Victoria, Australia dedicated to obtaining situational awareness from social media to support decision making for emergency management. We outline where this role fits within the structure of a command and control organisation, describe the requirements for such a position and detail the operational activities expected during an emergency event. As evidence of the importance of this role, we provide three real world examples where important information was obtained from social media which led to improved outcomes for the community concerned. \ \ This is the first time a dedicated role has been formally established solely for monitoring social media for emergency management intelligence gathering purposes in Victoria. To the best of our knowledge, it is also the first time such a dedicated position in an operational crisis coordination centre setting has been described in the literature.
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    Supporting the Use of Social Media by Emergency Managers: Software Tools to Overcome Information Overload
    ( 2017-01-04) Rao, Runqing ; Plotnick, Linda ; Hiltz, Roxanne
    Information overload has been suggested as a potential barrier to use of social media by emergency managers, especially for gathering information during disasters. This paper, based on a survey of 477 U.S. county-level emergency managers, examines the relationship of the perception of information overload as a barrier to social media use for gathering information, to the intention to use social media. It also examines the relationship of perceived usefulness of certain technological advancements currently being developed to intention to use. Results indicate that emergency managers’ perception of information overload as a barrier to use is negatively related to intention to use it, while perceptions of the usefulness of these technologies are positively related to intention to use. The study calls attention to the importance of resolving information overload to increase the use of social media for emergency management, and suggests the implementation of appropriate software tools to ameliorate this problem.
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    Software Tool for Semantic Resources Allocation in Humanitarian Crises
    ( 2017-01-04) Shamoug, Aladdin ; Juric, Radmila
    Resource Allocation (RAlloc) is one of the most important tasks in organizing humanitarian response to humanitarian crises. It is not only that adequate and efficient RAlloc save lives and reduce damages caused by humanitarian crises, but RAlloc must be fast and efficient to save time and resources. Given that RAlloc is a type of a decision making process, it is expected that decision on RAlloc are based on accurate and relevant information generated at various stages of humanitarian response. In this paper we promote Semantic Resource Allocation (SemRAlloc) tool which a) collects and interprets the semantics of an environment where RAlloc is required and b) the reasons upon the semantics of that environment in order to make appropriate RAlloc. The tool is built with computations based on SWRL enabled OWL ontologies. The prototype has been implemented as a desk-top application which can also run in mobile/wireless environments, including Android smart phones.
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    Online Convergence Behavior, Social Media Communications and Crisis Response: An Empirical Study of the 2015 Nepal Earthquake Police Twitter Project
    ( 2017-01-04) Subba, Rajib ; Bui, Tung
    Emergency response organizations such as the police are using social media as an additional channel to communicate with the general public in times of crisis. However, the utilization of social media with a free-style communication protocol by emergency response authorities for crisis response is still insufficiently understood. Who are the people they communicate with? What types of crisis-related information are shared with them? How do people react to these messages? How does the general public react to a social media run by a police organization? This paper uses the typology of convergence behaviors in emergency response as an attempt to categorize the public interaction with social media platforms. Furthermore, it uses the Situation Crisis Communication theory (SCCT) to analyze the crisis communication practices by a law enforcement agency. A content analysis of Nepal Police Tweets from the aftermath of the 2015 Nepal earthquake was conducted. It sought to understand (i) whether people who Tweet exhibit the same convergence behaviors as reported in the literature, (ii) how online participants communicate among and between the different crisis convergence behaviors, and (iii) what would be the best communication practices to assist crisis response efforts. Data show that convergence behaviors differed from intensity of appearances and communications and Tweets helped reconcile the differences in perceived emergency response needs between netizens and the authorities.
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    Enablers in Crisis Information Management: A Literature Review
    ( 2017-01-04) Lee, No-San ; Hirschmeier, Stefan ; Müller, Sven ; Luz, Lars Jürgen
    Social media often plays a central role in crisis informatics as it is an important source for assessing, understanding, and locating crises quickly and accurately. In addition, social media enables actors to react more effectively and efficiently when managing crises. However, enablers of crisis information management have not been carved out explicitly in a systematic view. Therefore, we perform a literature review to synthesize the existing literature on crisis information management with a focus on technical enablers and their classification into the crisis-management phases. As our results show, searching for crisis informatics mostly results in social media-related publications. We found that Twitter is one of the most important technical enablers but that research on other social media platforms is underrepresented. Also, most publications center on the post-crisis phases of crisis management, leaving out the pre-crisis phases.
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    Comparing Agent Architectures in Social Simulation: BDI Agents versus Finite-state Machines
    ( 2017-01-04) Adam, Carole ; Taillandier, Patrick ; Dugdale, Julie
    Each summer in Australia, bushfires burn many hectares of forest, causing deaths, injuries, and destroying property. Agent-based simulation is a powerful tool for decision-makers to explore different strategies for managing such crisis, testing them on a simulated population; but valid results require realistic underlying models. It is therefore essential to be able to compare models using different architectures to represent the human behaviour, on objective and subjective criteria. In this paper we describe two simulations of the Australian population's behaviour in bushfires: one with a finite-state machine architecture; one with a BDI architecture. We then compare these two models with respect to a number of criteria.
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    A Risk Scenario for Small Businesses in Hurricane Sandy Type Disasters
    ( 2017-01-04) Hendela, Arthur ; Turoff, Murray ; Hiltz, Starr Roxanne ; Fjermestad, Jerry
    This research uses a series of surveys followed by mathematical modeling to help discover risk factors, mitigating actions, and the highest return scenarios as a basis for a low-cost business continuity/disaster recovery plan. The surveys use a Delphi study format in order to rank a base list of risks and mitigating actions and to supplement those lists with ones added by the participants. Survey results are analyzed and presented back to the group for a second round of ranking and supplementing the risk/action categories. This paper describes the top ten risks and high value scenario for small business interruptions as determined by a Delphi survey of small businesses affected by Hurricane Sandy. The highest ranked risk is loss of business reputation. The research then uses Cross Impact Analysis and Interpretive Structural Modeling to determine the risk interactions and the highest valued scenario for which to prepare.
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    A Review of Qualitative Comments on a Proposed Master's Degree in Emergency Management
    ( 2017-01-04) Turoff, Murray ; Banuls Silvera, Victor ; Yang, Lili
    During 2015, a survey was completed by 373 \ respondents representing academics and practitioners \ in Emergency Management. They were asked to \ evaluate the courses for a Master’s degree in \ Emergency Management with a concentration in \ Information Systems. This paper reviews the very \ significant qualitative comments they made about each \ of the various courses and the program as a whole.
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    A Conceptual Framework and a Suite of Tools to Support Crisis Management
    ( 2017-01-04) Benaben, Frederick ; Montarnal, Aurelie ; Truptil, Sebastien ; Lauras, Matthieu ; Fertier, Audrey ; Salatge, Nicolas ; Rebiere, Sebastien
    This article aims at describing an approach to support crisis management. The main idea is to use an original vision of Big-Data to manage the question of collaboration issues in crisis response. On the one hand, this article introduces a general framework that structures the methodology applied in our approach. This framework includes several technical and business dimensions and embeds scientific results that are presented in this article or have been described in previous articles. On the other hand, the resulting implemented suite of tools is also presented with regards to the conceptual framework. Finally, in order to emphasize all the main features described in this article, both the framework and the suite of tools are illustrated and put into action through a scenario extracted from a real exercise.