Context-aware Mobile Decision Support Systems for Real-time Emergency Management in Mass Gatherings

This project contributes to gaining a clearer understanding of the nature and requirements of medical emergency during mass gathering events, and to improving communications in emergency situations in mass gatherings through:

  1. effective use of mobile devices in decision support
  2. modelling "what if" scenarios for proactive and reactive responses
  3. providing information in a user friendly form to enable more effective decision making

Background

This project contributes to gaining a clearer understanding of the nature and requirements of medical emergency during mass gathering events. This project addresses research priorities of promoting and maintaining good health. It capitalizes on smart information use and will be of great benefit to mass gatherings emergency management. This project will also train highly qualified IT specialists critical to Australia's scientific and industrial development, thus increasing our competitiveness in information technology R&D.

Project aims

A framework for emergencies in mass gathering events will be developed, which will provide:

  • an approach for representing knowledge about complex decision-making situations under uncertainty
  • a step-by-step implementation plan for a context-aware mobile Decision Support System for emergency management in mass gathering events

Also, we will build and test a mobile real time decision support tool for improving efficiency of medical decisions to strengthen Australia's ability to manage potential health-related hazards.

Research funding

This is an ARC linkage project for 2009-2012 ($150,000).

Partner Organisation: IBM, Australia.

Research design

The project takes a multidisciplinary approach looking at technical as well as human issues of context-aware mobile services, applications and devices in mass gatherings.

Project team

Higher degree research students

  • Huy Thanh Nguyen (Honours), “Ontology-based Location-aware Decision Support System for Medical Emergency Management in Mass Gatherings”
    – Supervisors: Dr Pari Delir Haghighi, Prof Frada Burstein
    – Completed with First Class Honours (2010)
  • Harris Soetikno (Honours), “Mobile Triage Decision Support for Field Triage in Mass Gatherings”
    – Supervisors: Dr Pari Delir Haghighi, Prof Frada Burstein
    – Completed with First Class Honours (2010)
  • Abeer Sandher (Masters), “A Study of Current Mobile DSS technologies in Emergency Management Organisations”
    – Supervisors: Prof Frada Burstein, Dr Pari Delir Haghighi
    – Ongoing
  • Chao Wang (Masters), (2011-2012) “Intelligent Decision Support Systems Using Social Networks for Mass Gatherings”
    – Supervisors: Dr Pari Delir Haghighi, Prof Frada Burstein
    – Ongoing
  • Peter Serwylo (PhD), "Intelligently Generating Possible Scenarios for Emergency Management During Mass Gatherings"
    – Main supervisor: Dr Grace Rumantir, Associate supervisor: Prof Frada Burstein
    – Ongoing

Industrial partners

  • Jay Hannon, IBM, Australia

Project collaborators

Publications

  • L. Mayner, P. Arbon, P. Delir Haghighi and F. Burstein (2012), Using a Health Informatics Approach and Domain Ontology to Establish Disaster Health Terminology, 4th WADEM Pan American Regional Conference, Leesburg, Virginia, USA, October 15-17. (submitted)
  • P. Delir Haghighi, F. Burstein, P. Arbon and A. Zaslavsky (2012), Using Ontology for IT-enabled Comprehensive Management of Mass Gatherings, DSS2012 – 16th IFIP WG8.3 International Conference on Decision Support Systems, Anávissos, Greece, June 28-30.
  • F. Burstein, P. Delir Haghighi, and A. Zaslavsky (2011), Context-aware Mobile Medical Emergency Management Decision Support System for Safe Transportation, Chapter 9 in Decision Support: An Examination of the DSS Discipline, Annals of Information Systems, Vol. 14.
  • F. Burstein, P. Brezillon, and A. Zaslavsky (2011), Supporting Real Time Decision-Making: The Role of Context in Decision Support on the Move, Annals of Information Systems, Vol. 13.
  • P. Delir Haghighi, F. Burstein, H. Al Taiar, P. Arbon, S. Krishnaswamy (2010), Ontology-Based Service-Oriented Architecture for Emergency Management in Mass Gatherings, IEEE International Conference on Service-Oriented Computing and Applications (SOCA'10), December 13-15, Perth, Australia, IEEE Computer Society.
  • P. Delir Haghighi, F. Burstein, A. Zaslavsky, P. Arbon and S. Krishnaswamy (2010), The Role of Domain Ontology for Medical Emergency Management in Mass Gatherings DSS 2010 the 15th IFIP WG8.3 International Conference on Decision Support Systems, Lisbon, Portugal, July 7-10.

Project outcomes

In line with the project aims, a key outcome has been the Domain Ontology for Mass Gathering Medical Emergency Management (DO4MG). The ontology is available for public access at:

http://akeso.infotech.monash.edu.au:8080/webprotege

Several decision support system prototypes for medical emergency management at mass gatherings have been created.

  • Mobile Location-Aware DSS for Mass Gathering Emergency Management
    This is an ontology based service-oriented architecture for enabling decision support during mass gatherings and the SmartLocator4MG (Smart Locator for Mass Gathering) is our prototypical implementation of this architecture. It provides emergency services with real-time views of resource (e.g. personnel as well as equipment) distribution at a mass gathering event on their mobile devices. The architecture allows agencies using different terminology to communicate with ease through its semantic querying with ontology based reasoning.
  • Ontology-Based CBR for Estimating Workloads in Mass Gatherings
    This Case-Based Reasoning (CBR) application illustrates how the DO4MG ontology aids pre-event planning for mass gatherings. The ontological approach leads to better detection of terminology inconsistencies and semantic conflicts arising due to them.
  • Mobile Decision Support for Field Triage in Mass Gatherings
    The iTriage system consists of a mobile decision support system for field triage and a service-oriented architecture which facilitates collection and sharing of triage data with other medical services such as hospitals. The mobile DSS is a smart phone application that provides easy access to triage guidelines, records triage decisions, and synchronizes data with the central service.
  • Ontology-Based Framework for Real-Time Collection and Visualization of Field Triage Data
    This system extends iTriage by incorporating the DO4MG ontology to the mobile DSS. It also includes a real-time web-based module to visualize triage data based on the classifications available in the DO4MG ontology.
  • Using Social Media Data for Improving DSS in Mass Gatherings
    This project investigates how real-time data from social media such as Facebook and Twitter can be used to monitor crowd behaviour/mood during mass gatherings. The prototype would assist emergency services in predicting potential medical emergencies and providing timely and effective response and treatment. (Work in progress)

The project is nearing completion in 2012.

Project updates

Key events, seminars and stakeholder interactions are listed below.

2012

  • Meeting with Ambulance Victoria. On 11th April, a meeting was held with Ambulance Victoria officials at their South Melbourne office in order to demonstrate current project outcomes and obtain feedback with the view of identifying avenues for further investigation and development.
  • Seminar with St John Ambulance. On 24th February, a seminar was conducted at Monash University with the participation of officials from St John Ambulance to demonstrate current prototypes and obtain feedback with the view of identifying avenues for further investigation and development.

2011

  • Meeting with Domain experts. On 7th November, a meeting was held with several domain experts at Flinders University in Adelaide in order to validate and obtain feedback on the ontology and prototypes.

2010

  • Mass Gathering Observation Study. On 6th November, an observation study of event management and co-ordination aspects of St John Ambulance Victoria at Stakes Day (the Spring Racing Carnival) at Flemington Racecourse was conducted.
  • Focus Group with Domain Experts. A seminar was held in Adelaide on 20th April with domain experts in Flinders University which provided useful feedback and directions for the remaining parts of the project.

Contact us

If you have any questions, comments or feedback about this project, please contact Frada Burstein.