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Statement of Work
This project will develop methods to assess the impact of disruptions to the ground transportation
network on evacuation planning. The results will be implemented for integration into SUMMIT
(Standard Unified Modeling, Mapping, and Integration Toolkit), a decision support tool
sponsored by the United States Department of Homeland Security to confront the National
Planning Scenarios.
Project Technical Description
Keywords: transportation network vulnerability, evacuation planning, risk modeling, risk
1. Theme Area: Risk Analysis
2. Principal Investigator: Lance Fiondella
3. Institution: University of Massachusetts (UMass) Dartmouth
4. Co-Investigators: Nicholas Lownes, University of Connecticut
5. Brief Description:
The purpose of this research is to develop algorithms for transportation network vulnerability
assessment and routing to enhance the realism of SUMMIT [MM12], a multi-simulation tool
designed to serve as a decision support system for the National Planning Scenarios (NPS), which
are a set of 15 high consequence scenarios encompassing CBRNe (Chemical, Biological,
Radiological, and Nuclear explosives) events as well as natural disasters such as earthquakes and
hurricanes. The SUMMIT environment implements best-in-class simulation techniques for
scientific phenomenon such as the propagation of a plume released from an explosive device and
building damage that may result from an earthquake. However, most of these scenarios lack a
transportation component that could be used for evacuation planning. For example, Figure 1
shows the SUMMIT
NPS one, Improvised
Nuclear Detonation,
where simulations are
represented as boxes
and input/output data
Infrastructure Effects
and Hospital Surge
assessment of damage
to building and peak
planning. However,
data flowing out of
the Nuclear Effects
Figure 1: National Planning Scenario one,
Improvised Nuclear Detonation
simulation, including Prompt Effects, Fallout Plume Contours, and Population Exposure are not
utilized as inputs into a transportation model to formulate an orderly evacuation strategy to
minimize population exposure despite complicating factors such as obstacles blocking roads. As
a result, SUMMIT is primarily suitable for use as a risk assessment tool. Incorporating
transportation simulations as well as game theoretic and operations research oriented algorithms
into the scenarios will broaden the scope and detail of the problems that can be considered by the
toolkit, enabling decision support system functionality to adaptively identify robust risk
mitigation strategies.
6. Objectives:
The proposed research will assess the data flows in each of the 15 National Planning Scenarios
implemented as multi-simulations in SUMMIT. For each scenario, we will identify potential uses
of existing simulation outputs that can serve as inputs to a transportation simulation module as
well as outputs a transportation simulation module can produce to serve as additional inputs into
existing simulation models in order to enhance their realism. For example, Figure 2 shows a
possible revision to the data flows given in Figure 1, so that existing simulation outputs can be
used to formulate and evacuation plan for emergency broadcast.
Figure 2: Revised flow of NPS one incorporating Evacuation Planning & Emergency Broadcast
The Evacuation Planning & Emergency Broadcast simulation should utilize the Affected
Infrastructure output of the Infrastructure Effects model to determine the availability or
unavailability of roads from events such as building collapse. This Evacuation Planning &
Emergency Broadcast simulation should also use the Fallout Plume Contours output of the
Nuclear Effects model to formulate a centrally coordinated evacuation plan that minimizes
Population Exposure, which will reduce the Hospital Surge and corresponding Needed Hospital
Capacity and Prophylaxis Needed. These modifications will mitigate the implicit assumption that
evacuation can be executed smoothly despite potential disruptions to the transportation network.
The Principal Investigator of SUMMIT at Sandia National Laboratories, Nerayo
Teclemariam, confirmed that the plume model is classified, but that they are working to integrate
unclassified plume models into the Toolkit. The classified nature of this simulation will prevent
integration of an Evacuation Planning & Emergency Broadcast simulation into several of the
scenarios involving a CBRNe event. Thus, we propose to perform preliminary experiments in the
context of a less sensitive scenario or use simulations available to the scientific community.
We intend to implement our algorithm in SUMMIT. Dr. Fiondella and his students at UMass
Dartmouth have a SUMMIT account and access to the SUMMIT software development kit
(SDK). We plan to spend the spring 2014 semester and summer familiarizing ourselves with the
mechanics of developing within the SUMMIT SDK so that we may focus our efforts on the
proposed research during the project’s performance period. A University of Massachusetts
Dartmouth student has applied to work with Nerayo and the SUMMIT team at Sandia through
the DHS HS-STEM Summer Internship Program ( This experience would provide us with additional expertise needed to
complete the proposed and future projects successfully. We will prototype the simulation in a
general purpose programming language only if we are unable to avoid restrictions imposed by
security classification. In any case, the requirements of a transportation module for each of the
remaining scenarios will be expanded based on experience obtained implementing the prototype.
The ultimate objective of this project is to prepare one or more proposals for submission to
sources of potential funding within the DHS enterprise. These proposals will outline the
significance of the preliminary research and set forth a comprehensive plan to integrate
transportation into SUMMIT to improve the toolkit’s ability to support transportation problems
of relevance to the DHS, such as evacuation planning, emergency response, and hazardous
materials (HazMat) routing. This funding would enable ongoing collaboration between the
proposers and researchers at CREATE.
7. Interfaces to CREATE Projects:
This project will maintain interfaces with CREATE's research activities in the areas of risk
assessment as well as risk management. Our proposed research is a novel synthesis of game
theoretic techniques and optimization, which overlap with the research interests of multiple
members of the CREATE team. More importantly, the project will enable additional interfaces
with DHS, including opportunities to pursue collaborative funding such as the Resilient Systems
Division (RSD) of the Homeland Security Advanced Research Projects Agency (HS-ARPA).
Links to other organizations such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA),
Red Cross, Department of Transportation (DOT), or a local city will be necessary to demonstrate
the transferability of the proposed research. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth is less
than one hour from Camp Edwards, home to Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Otis Air
National Guard Base, and other federal and state agencies responsible for executing Department
of Defense and DHS missions. The PI has met with Camp Edwards’ leadership, Colonels James
LeFavor and Virginia Doonan, to discuss potential collaborations in support of this project. The
co-PI has led several projects sponsored by the Federal and State DOT as well as transportation
research institutes. Our previous research on HazMat routing [RFL14] offers another avenue to
pursue funding from the Chemical and Biological Defense Division of HS-ARPA.
8. Previous or current work relevant to the proposed project:
Our previous research [WFL11], [FRL12] applies a combination of game theory and
optimization methods to identify the vulnerability of transportation networks to disruption and
prioritize the allocation of defenses to critical links over long time horizons. We are now
exploring the more immediate problems of emergency response and evacuation planning in the
context of a heavily degraded transportation network [F13]. Traditional queueing theoretic
models to simulate evacuation [KDW12] will not be sufficient because they cannot easily make
use of dynamic hazards such as the contours of a fallout plume generated by the detonation of a
CBRNe device. To address the challenges of dynamic hazards and disrupted networks, we are
employing graph theoretic techniques from transportation engineering, which can characterize
the geospatial properties of a transportation network at the level of detail needed to formulate
high resolution emergency response and evacuation plans for potential customers.
The proposed work can be integrated into the Real Time Evacuation Planning Model (RtePM)
[R13] developed at the Virginia Modeling, Analysis and Simulation Center (VMASC). However,
the RtePM license model may not be compatible with SUMMIT data security requirements.
Moreover, enhancements to RtePM will be needed to ensure that the proposed research can be
properly integrated. These are discussed in Section 10, where we outline our technical approach.
Mohammad Karim, Vice President of Research at Old Dominion University (ODU) from 20042013 recently joined the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth as Provost and Executive Vice
Chancellor. He has agreed to facilitate collaboration between researchers at UMass Dartmouth,
the VMASC at ODU, and interested third parties.
9. Major Products and Customers:
SUMMIT is used to support several emergency exercises, including the National Level Exercises
(NLE), a set of activities organized by the FEMA each year to test the Region-level coordination
of authorities and identify interoperability weaknesses and capabilities needed for continuous
improvement. Because SUMMIT is designed to support all fifteen of the National Planning
Scenarios, customers include first responders to terrorist incidents, cyber-attacks, as well as
natural disasters. In addition to clients within FEMA, risk analysts at the Homeland Security
Systems Engineering and Development Institute (HS-SEDI) a DHS federally funded research
and development center (FFRDC) use SUMMIT to evaluate the criticality of various scenarios in
the context of their mission to connect and integrate across DHS missions to secure America.
10. Technical Approach:
This section summarizes our understanding of RtePM [R13]. We then identify limitations and
opportunities for integration. RtePM employs methods from transportation engineering to
quantify the impact of transportation network congestion on the time required to evacuate and
area. These congestion models are typically formulated as an optimization problem, with the
objective to minimize the total travel time of all vehicles within the network. Because the
transportation network is encoded as a graph consisting of vertices and edges, trips within the
network may be characterized as a “demand” matrix, where the (i,j)th entry denotes the number
of trips wishing to travel from vertex i to vertex j. In the context of evacuation, the destination of
all trips is to one or more reception centers [KDW12] to receive medical treatment and food
supplies or to a shelter based on the nature of the hazard prompting evacuation. In the future,
RtePM plans to support real time traffic that could utilize time varying “demand” matrix models
[CBM10] to more accurately predict and coordinate the time required to conduct an evacuation.
Presently, RtePM requires that road closures and modifications be specified manually,
limiting its utility as a dynamic decision support system for disaster management. In contrast, the
game theoretic and optimization methods we propose to develop can utilize a combination of
actual and potential disruptions to minimize vulnerability. The game theory component involves
a router and an attacker. The router seeks the safest most convenient path for all evacuees, while
the attacker closes or modifies the available links in the transportation network to maximally
disrupt the evacuation and the harm that results. The attacker utilizes the transportation
congestion model to identify the best links to disrupt. This game can identify the relative
criticality of edges representing road segments on the efficiency of an evacuation plan. The game
can also be used as the objective function of an optimization problem, where the constraints are a
limited budget to deploy damage mitigating and protective technologies that preserve the
carrying capacity of the transportation network to minimize evacuation time and minimize
population exposure to risk. Because games on graphs are computationally complex heuristic
techniques may be required to identify near optimal defense strategies. Such an approach can
also be used to dynamically produce a list of routes to reception centers and regions of the city
assigned to each of these routes in a format suitable for emergency broadcast.
11. References:
[F13] L. Fiondella, “An algorithm to prioritize road network restoration after a regional event,”
In Proc. of IEEE International Conf. on Technologies for Homeland Security, Nov 2013.
[FRL12] L. Fiondella, A. Rahman, J. Liu, S. Tolba, S. Rajasekaran, R. Ammar, N. Lownes, and
J. Ivan, “Game theoretic vulnerability analysis for the optimal defense of high speed rail,” in
Proc. of IEEE International Conf. on Technologies for Homeland Security, 2012, pp. 305–311.
[KDW12] A. Kirby, J. Dietz, and C. Wojtalewicz, “Modeling of a regional hub reception center
to improve the speed of an urban area evacuation,” in Proc. of IEEE International Conf. on
Technologies for Homeland Security, 2012, pp. 476-482.
[MM12] J. Mapur and K. Mahrous, “The role of integrated modeling and simulation in disaster
preparedness and emergency preparedness and response: The SUMMIT platform,” in Proc. of
IEEE International Conf. on Technologies for Homeland Security, 2012, pp. 117–122.
[CBM10] Y. Chiu, J. Bottom, M. Mahut, A. Paz, R. Balakrishna, T. Waller, and J. Hicks, “A
Primer for Dynamic Traffic,” Technical Report of the ADB30 Transportation Network Modeling
Committee Transportation Research Board, 2010.
[WFL11] Q. Wang, L. Fiondella, N. Lownes, J. Ivan, R. Ammar, S. Rajasekaran, and S. Tolba,
“Integrating equilibrium assignment in game-theoretic approach to measure many-to-many
transportation network vulnerability,” in Proc. of IEEE International Conf. on Technologies for
Homeland Security, 2011, pp. 351–357.
[R13] Michael Robinson, “Real Time Evacuation Planning Model Users Guide VMASC Version
1.0,” Available online at:, 2013.
[RFL14] A. Rahman, L. Fiondella, and N. Lownes, “A Bi-Objective Optimization to Identify
Regulatory Framework for Hazardous Materials Routing.” Journal of the Transportation
Research Forum (JRTF), (in press).
12. Major Milestones and Dates:
1. Develop expertise programming in SUMMIT environment to ensure the project can be carried
out according to the following timeline. (January 2014-August 2014)
2. Assess existing data flows present in SUMMIT scenarios and identify requirements of
transportation simulations. (July 2014-August 2014)
3. Implement prototype transportation simulation component and perform integration testing
within SUMMIT. (September 2014-April 2015)
4. Thoroughly document requirements of a transportation module capable of addressing each of
the 15 National Planning Scenarios. (April 2015-May 2015)
5. Prepare a white paper for submission to HS-ARPA Resilient Systems Division and other
suitable opportunities. (June 2015)
13. Project Deliverables:
1. A software prototype of the transportation module for integration with SUMMIT.
2. A paper for submission to the IEEE Conference on Technologies for Homeland Security,
summarizing the basic scientific discoveries derived from the project.