Combining Human Assessment and Reasoning Aids for Decision-Making in Environmental Emergencies

CHARADE - 6095

Keywords management of emergencies, decision-support systems, forest fires control, situation assessment, case based planning, task modelling, object oriented development

Start Date: 27-MAY-92 / Duration: 36 months

[ contact / participants ]

Objectives and Approach

CHARADE aims at defining a general system architecture of DSS, providing powerful facilities for situation assessment and intervention planning in environmental emergencies. A related objective is to develop, by specialising the above architecture, a demonstrator providing decision support to the operator of a typical Italian provincial control center for wildfire fighting. The CHARADE architecture includes general modules built up from a set of basic reasoning and presentation tools; these are candidates for being used in different application domains, mainly by adding specific knowledge bases. Among them are:

As well as wildfire control, a broader range of application domains is being considered, include the control of air traffic, marine traffic and urban air pollution, and the management of road works. Among issues considered are; models of environmental accidents exhibiting complex spatial evolution patterns; analysis of large set of data in historical series; data fusion approaches for situation assessment; and passive and active support in intervention planning and resource allocation tasks.

An object orientation is at the basis of the development approach, both at the level of the architectural design and of detailed specification and implementation/integration.

Progress and Results

The characterisation of the primary domain was conducted through different phases of knowledge acquisition, resulting in user characterisation situation analysis and detailed task models. A number of fire-fighting organisations in Italy, France and Spain have been analysed through interviews; the main activities performed were identified and the different approaches compared. In order to acquire more detailed operational knowledge and to define the user requirements of the demonstrator, the Italian context has been considered, with Sardinia a particular focus and concentrating on the planning of the first intervention for fire control. A number of virtual scenarios have been constructed for putting the expert in a concrete situation when simulating decision taking; this will also be the basis for the definition of test cases and for the initialisation of the case library of the CBR planner.

In order to better define the evaluation plan for the demonstrator, contacts will be established with other fire experts and user organisations; with their support we will also validate the expert knowledge and some design choices. A first version of the demonstrator will be produced for mid-1994, also in order to get an early feedback from the user. The integration of the final version of the demonstrator and its evaluation both from the viewpoint of the user and in terms of specific technical achievements are planned for the first half of 1995. An exploitation workshop promoted by the CEC inside the VALUE program has been held. Some work is in progress in order to evaluate the level of portability of the CHARADE demonstrator in different organisational contexts.

Further information about CHARADE is available from the CHARADE home page <URL:>.


Mr Fulvio Marcoz
Via Tiburtina, kM. 12,4
I - 00131 Roma
tel: + 39/ 6-4197-2130
fax: + 39/ 6-413-1436
telex: 613690 ALROMA I


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CHARADE - 6095, December 1993

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html version of synopsis by Nick Cook