Inderscience Publishers

Towards intelligent decision support systems for emergency managers: the IDA approach

The paper presents ENEA's next step towards the development of Intelligent Decision Support Systems (IDSS) for large-scale industrial and territorial emergencies. The prototype IDA (Intelligent Decision Advisor) for emergency management in an oil port is analysed as a test case. The work was performed under the national R&D MICA project and specifically ENEA's long-term strategic MINDES Program synchronised with indications of the worldwide GEMINI (Global Emergency Management Information Network Initiative) of the G7 Committee. IDA is an approach in designing intelligent agent-based kernels of IDSS. In the frame of the generic TOGA (Top-down Object-based Goal-oriented Approach) model of abstract intelligent agents, IPK (Information, Preferences, Knowledge) architecture was employed. The specific IDA objectives were to develop and verify the properties of an information-managed agent and a knowledge managed agent, where the latter should suggest an action or plan after every new significant event in the emergency domain. The IDA functional kernel is composed of three simple agents a DirectAdvisor, which interacts with the human user and emergency domain, an InfoProvider, which manages information and intervention goals and an IDAPlanner, which plans adequate interventions. For the design, UML (Unified Modelling Language) has been employed. MDP (Markov Decision Process) and CBR (Case-Based Reasoning) are used for planning crisis management actions. Owing to a generic agent model and object-based conceptualisation, the IDA system should be adaptable to the different roles of emergency managers. The obtained results confirm the IPK conceptualisation hypothesis and provide a concrete technological experience for the next step towards high-intelligent DSSs for the management of emergencies.

Keywords: Intelligent Decision Support System, emergency management, abstract intelligent agent, planning

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