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The Role of Context for Crisis Management Cycle

Chapter
Part of the Annals of Information Systems book series (AOIS, volume 13)

Abstract

This chapter establishes the major role of the sense making and ­situation-understanding process in crisis management, and outlines the importance of the contextualisation of information in this process. As a result of a wider analysis of past crisis-management feedback, we define the term crisis and propose a crisis-management cycle, along with a set of decision support activities. From a system point of view, crisis management functionalities are structured along three crucial steps: information gathering, situation understanding, and decision making. For each step, the processes involved are described and for each one some relevant techniques are proposed to implement the processes. For the information-gathering step, the use of ontology allows the building and structuring of a coherent ­situation model. The initial overall picture of the situation, obtained by some on-line ­information extraction and fusion, is then consolidated in the situation understanding step to provide meaningful real-time situation awareness. This provides the essential base to derive the final decision-making step. In the decision phase, the context has a dual impact on the decision-making process; the context first constrains the resolution of the resource allocation problem, but it also contributes to discriminate between several resource allocation solutions. It is thus shown that each step of the crisis management process relies on the availability and quality of the crisis context, and that this in-time contextualisation is required to enhance the overall process of crisis management.

To summarise, this chapter highlights the key role of situation understanding for crisis management and reveals the crucial necessity of in-time contextualisation at each step of the crisis management process.

Keywords

Information contextualisation Situation understanding Decision support Crisis management Ontology Information fusion Complex event processing 

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Thales Research and TechnologyParisFrance

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