Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Scientists Develop New Approach to Predicting Losses from Disasters

A group of engineering and scientific experts have developed a new model to better predict losses due to natural and man-made environmental disasters. Researchers say their approach has the potential to assist emergency planners and other disaster preparedness experts reduce negative impacts through improved prediction.

According to lead researcher Lianfa Li of LREIS, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, “This improved detection of high risk has implications for risk assessment and management in supporting more precise information for decision-making.” The approach, while geared in this instance on flooding events, “has broader applications to typhoons, hurricanes, landslides, tsunamis and other adverse situations with natural and man-made causes,” according to Li.

The new analysis method is detailed in the article “Assessment of Catastrophic Risk Using a Bayesian Network Constructed from Domain Knowledge and Spatial Data” in the July issue of the journal Risk Analysis, published by the Society for Risk Analysis. The authors include Lianfa Li, Jinfeng Wang, and Chengsheng Jiang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Hareton Leung of Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

The researchers say their approach is unique in that it integrates expert input, geographic data, and a host of contributing factors in predicting the likelihood of certain adverse outcomes, allowing emergency planners to pre-position resources and prepare staff based on more information than is provided by reviewing similar events that have occurred in the past.

The model in effect operates as a type of “artificial intelligence,” according to Li. The supporting computer program “can learn from existing data and users can leverage expert knowledge to revise and improve the model, make inferences about missing data, and bridge other uncertainties to enhance the predictability of natural disasters and decrease potential losses.” Li added, “Our study proposes a generic modeling framework that integrates relevant quantitative and qualitative factors within a consistent system for assessment of catastrophic risks.”

The so-called Bayesian network approach for disaster prediction makes use of information from geographers, construction engineers, ecologists and economists. It was validated against data from flood disasters along the Heihe river in northwest China from 2006 to 2008, which indicated its relatively better performance than other available known methods.

Risk Analysis: An International Journal is published by the nonprofit Society for Risk Analysis (SRA). SRA is a multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary, scholarly, international society that provides an open forum for all those who are interested in risk analysis. Risk analysis is broadly defined to include risk assessment, risk characterization, risk communication, risk management, and policy relating to risk, in the context of risks of concern to individuals, to public and private sector organizations, and to society at a local, regional, national, or global level.

Contact: Steve Gibb, 703.610.2441 or Lisa Pellegrin, 571.327.4868 or to arrange an interview with the author(s). Note to editors: The complete study is available upon request from Lisa Pellegrin/Steve Gibb or here:

Steve Gibb | Newswise Science News
Further information:

Further reports about: Analysis Chinese herbs Disasters Risk Risk Analysis SRA natural disaster

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Diagnoses: When Are Several Opinions Better Than One?
19.07.2016 | Max-Planck-Institut für Bildungsforschung

nachricht High in calories and low in nutrients when adolescents share pictures of food online
07.04.2016 | University of Gothenburg

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Resolving the mystery of preeclampsia

21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine

Stanford researchers create new special-purpose computer that may someday save us billions

21.10.2016 | Information Technology

From ancient fossils to future cars

21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences

More VideoLinks >>>