WIT Press

A Decision Support Framework For Large Scale Emergency Response


Free (open access)

Paper DOI






Page Range

87 - 98




1,233 kb


D. T. Wilson, G. I. Hawe, G. Coates & R. S. Crouch


Coordination is often cited as one of the principal problems in large scale emergency response. By representing the problem mathematically, a decision support framework capable of viewing the ‘big picture’ in emergency response, and processing it effectively and efficiently, has been developed. This will result in a provision of high quality suggestions for coordinated response operations, which can be called upon during the decision-making process. In order to ensure the framework is relevant and applicable, significant modeling challenges must be overcome to translate a highly uncertain environment incorporating a complex network of interdependencies into a rigorous mathematical formulation. Keywords: decision support, mathematical modelling, optimisation, terrorism. 1 Introduction Following recent high profile and unprecedented large scale emergencies such as the terrorist attacks of September 11th 2001 in USA, or of July 7th 2005 in London, questions relating to how an emergency response operation to such an event should be carried out have gained considerable exposure. Response operations at present are predominantly defined through pre-planned standard operating procedures which, while working well when applied to familiar or foreseeable situations, may not provide the required level of flexibility to ensure a high quality response to unprecedented events. The provision of a decision support framework, capable of constructing a mathematical model which represents a real-time response operation and applying optimization techniques to find potential solutions, could contribute to ensuring a flexible and robust response strategy. This paper discusses progress made on


decision support, mathematical modelling, optimisation, terrorism