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Fifth Thematic Seminar

Wednesday, 18 May 2022

May 18, 2022 the fifth Thematic Seminar was held. Here, Hiba Baroud and Omar Kammouh gave a talk about Evaluating the vulnerability of infrastructure systems and their role in food distribution during disasters and A scalable approach for intervention planning of complex interconnected systems.

If you want to (re)watch the seminar, a recording can be downloaded below. Besides this, a short overview of the talk can be found below. 

Evaluating the vulnerability of infrastructure systems and their role in food distribution during disasters by Hiba Baroud (assistant professor, Vanderbilt University)

Critical infrastructure networks are vulnerable to natural hazards. Hurricanes and floods often result in power outages and road closures and these failures can sometimes result in crippling effects across multiple sectors. An overlooked aspect of infrastructure performance during disasters is the impact of power and transportation vulnerability on food distribution. How should food banks plan for disasters to ensure effective and efficient food distribution during disasters?

This talk provides an overview of a two-phase project focused on decision support systems for food distribution during slow (e.g., pandemics) and fast (e.g., extreme weather events) disasters. In phase 1, we conduct stakeholder workshops to better understand the challenges of food distribution decision making during disasters. In phase 2, we work together with stakeholders to develop a decision support system to plan and prepare for disasters. The research from phase 2 that will be presented in this talk is focused on data-driven approaches that quantify the vulnerability of power and transportation systems. We develop a composite indicator to evaluate and visualize the combined vulnerability of both systems. We also develop statistical learning models that predict power outages and road closures based on values of indicators and real-time weather forecast. A case study focused on Houston, Texas is used to illustrate the proposed methods. Results show that different aggregation and weighting methods lead to different values of vulnerability indicators. Additionally, statistical learning methods provide a higher accuracy compared to traditional composite indicator approaches.

A scalable approach for intervention planning of complex interconnected systems by Omar Kammouh (Postdoc, TU Eindhoven)

The well-being of modern societies depends upon the functioning of their infrastructure assets. During their service life, these assets are subject to different types of deterioration. Intervention activities, such as maintenance and renovations, are executed ensuring a continuous fulfillment of the infrastructure functional goals. A good planning of these interventions could substantially reduce the associated economical and societal impacts, hence, increasing the infrastructure resilience.

In this presentation, we will draw on the results of our latest research work on interventions planning optimization. We will present an integrative multi-system and multi-stakeholder optimization approach for managing infrastructure interventions. The proposed approach takes advantage of the benefits achieved by optimally grouping intervention activities. Intervention optimization leads to substantial savings on both direct intervention costs (e.g., cost of maintenance) and indirect unavailability costs (e.g., societal impact due to service unavailability) by reducing the number of system interruptions. Finally, we illustrate how systems thinking approaches can be beneficial and we highlight the requisites of such approaches.


All individual seminars can be found in de 4TU RE calendar.