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Glenn I. Hawe, Graham Coates, Duncan T. Wilson, & Roger S. Crouch. (2011). Design decisions in the development of an agent-based simulation for large-scale emergency response. In E. Portela L. S. M.A. Santos (Ed.), 8th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management: From Early-Warning Systems to Preparedness and Training, ISCRAM 2011. Lisbon: Information Systems for Crisis Response and Management, ISCRAM.
Abstract: As part of ongoing research into optimizing the response to large-scale emergencies, an agent-based simulation (ABS) is being developed to evaluate different rescue plans in silico. During the development of this software, decisions regarding its design have been required in order to best satisfy the following specific application requirements: (1) the construction of a sufficiently detailed virtual environment, representing a real geographical area; (2) the programming of a wide variety of agent behaviors using a minimal amount of code; (3) the computational handling of the “large-scale” nature of the emergency; and (4) the presentation of a highly visual user interface, to encourage and facilitate use of the software by practitioners involved in the project. This paper discusses the decisions made in each of these areas, including the novel use of policy-based class design to efficiently program agents. Future developments planned for the software are also outlined.