High level architecture (HLA) compliant distributed simulation platform for disaster preparedness and response in facility management

Simulation for Disaster Preparedness and Management system (DPRS)

By imitating chaotic disaster situations in risk-free settings, disaster-related simulation can be helpful for training of response participation, damage evaluation, and recovery planning. However, each single simulation needs to interact with others because different simulation combinations are required due to numerous disasters and their complex effects on facilities, and diverse response efforts. We therefore developed a distributed simulation platform for disaster response management by using the High Level Architecture (HLA) (IEEE 1516) to promote its future extendibility. With a focus on the facility damage after an earthquake and fire, disaster response simulations — including evacuation, emergency recovery, and restoration — interact with a seismic data feeds, and structural response and building fire simulations. This base platform can provide information on possible damages and response situations to reduce confusions in disaster responses. With the strongest features of HLA, which is reusability and extendibility, additional disaster simulators could be coupled for all-time disaster management.

In a complex and chaotic disaster situation, insufficient information on damage and responses causes difficulties in rapidly implementing efficient response and recovery planning (Olshansky et al. 2012). Due to the ability of the computer simulation to manage greater complexity and uncertainty (Harrison et al. 2007), computer simulation techniques have been widely applied in disaster management (e.g., the training of response participation, damage evaluation, and response and recovery planning of facilities) by imitating complex and chaotic disaster situations in a low cost and risk-free setting. Despite the emergence of numerous amounts of advanced disaster-related simulations and technologies, individual ones still have following limitations to be utilized for disaster response and recovery management:

  • consideration on diverse damage patterns according to the types of disasters, and their serial and complex effects on facilities;
  • incorporation of diverse response and recovery efforts;
  • analysis on a disaster situation change over time according to a disaster management cycle.

Therefore, each single simulation for analyzing disaster, damage, and response situations needs to interact with others because various disaster situations require different combinations of simulations. To alleviate this problem, a distributed disaster simulation approach can be employed with a new interoperable environment where different simulations interact with each other (Yotsukura and Takahashi 2009). With regard to such issues, this paper focuses on describing how to combine disaster simulators and techniques with different analysis purposes using the High Level Architecture (HLA) compliant distributed simulation platform. The principles of the HLA, which was standardized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE 1516), provide interoperability, reusability, and extendibility among each simulations by its general rules for distributed simulation environments (Zhang et al. 2011). For the purpose of more comprehensively analyzing complex disaster response and recovery situations of facilities, this research develops a distributed disaster simulation platform for multiple disaster management with different disasters (i.e., earthquake and fire) and diverse response efforts (i.e., building evacuation, functional recovery and structural restoration). Based on the platform, this research further develops a disaster preparedness and response system (DPRS) for facility management which not only has interoperability among different simulations but also has extendibility and reusability for the future.

Evacuation behavior simulation model

Application example: Evacuation behavior simulation.

To establish an integrated and a comprehensive disaster response and recovery management, this research proposed a base platform of the DPRS using the HLA compliant distributed simulation which interconnects various types of disaster-related simulators and techniques. A comprehensive analysis including building occupant evacuation, EPSS emergency functional recovery, and building structural restoration after disasters (i.e., earthquake and fire) could be implemented under an interoperable simulation environment. By conducting fire scenario based evacuation simulation, the facility managers could search more efficient and reliable source for evacuation planning and training in different types of building. On the other hand, the seismic data retrieval technique will enable EPSSs to establish faster and more accurate functional recovery plans whose functionality is critical to the regions depending on it. Also, facility restoration based on actual seismic data and structural response simulations will assist facility managers in project scoping and scheduling after an earthquake. As a result, the base platform of a distributed simulation for a facility’s disaster management can be utilized to provide information on possible damages and response situations through the generation of serial and complex disasters — both artificial and actual — into the simulation. This information can be helpful for reducing possible confusions in disaster response as well as assisting immediate and robust disaster response planning.

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