INFORMS Speaker Series: Özlem Ergun of Northeastern University
March 31, 2017
UMass Amherst Campus
The UMass Student Chapter of INFORMS hosts a talk by Özlem Ergun, professor, mechanical and industrial engineering, Northeastern University. The title of her presentation is "Restoration of Network Connectivity in Large-Scale Disaster Response Problems."
Abstract: Due to the ubiquitous nature of disruptive extreme events, the functionality of the critical infrastructure systems is constantly at risk. In case of a disruption, in order to minimize the loss in the society, service networks operating on the critical infrastructure systems should be restored as quickly as possible. As an illustrative case study, we consider a road network blocked by debris in the aftermath of a disaster. In this work, we develop mathematical models that capture the important characteristics of the debris related operations in each stage along with methodologies for solving these mathematical models efficiently. Specifically, we introduce a novel network science inspired measure to quantify the criticality of components within a disrupted service network and develop a heuristic that prioritizes the restoration efforts based on this measure. We analyze the performance of the plans with respect to a resilience notion that includes both the network’s ability to withstand the disruptions and the impact of the restoration activities on the recovery of the emergency service network functionality. Furthermore, we compare the proposed plans with the current restoration guidelines proposed by FEMA and observe that our methodology provides a more resilient recovery plan. Finally, we explore the relationship between a service network’s resilience and its topological and operational characteristics under different disruption scenarios and derive insights and recommendations on how to design resilient service networks. The methods and insights provided in this work can be extended to other disrupted large scale critical infrastructure systems in which the ultimate goal is to enable service functionality.