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Last-Mile Disaster Preparedness and Recovery

Prof. Pascal Van Hentenryck (Brown University)


DATE: 2011-04-06
TIME: 12:00:00 - 13:00:00
LOCATION: NICTA - 7 London Circuit
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Every year, natural disasters cause infrastructure damages and power outages that have considerable impacts on both quality of life and economic welfare. Mitigating the effects of disasters is an important but challenging task, given the underlying uncertainty, the need for fast response, and the complexity and scale of the infrastructures involved, not to mention the social and policy issues. This talk describes how to use planning and scheduling technologies to address these challenges in a rigorous and principled way. In particular, we present the first optimization solutions to last-mile disaster preparedness and recovery for a single commodity (e.g., water) and for the electrical power network. The optimization algorithms were compared to existing practice on disaster scenarios based on the US infrastructure (at the state scale) and generated by state-of-the-art hurricane simulation tools. Some of our algorithms are deployed as part as the Los Alamos National Laboratories operational tools and provide recommendations to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Pascal Van Hentenryck is a Professor of Computer Science at Brown University. He is a fellow of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence, the recipent of the 2002 ICS INFORMS award, the 2006 ACP Award, a honorary degree from the University of Louvain, and the Philip J. Bray award for teaching excellence. He is the author of five MIT Press books and most of this research in optimization software systems has been commercialized and is widely used in academia and industry.

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