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Decision Support System (DSS) for Hierarchical Allocation of Resources and Tasks for Disaster Management

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After the occurrence of a natural disaster, it is of paramount importance to take efficient measures to reduce the casualties and damage to infrastructure. Resource allocation is a generic problem of assigning available resources to the affected areas to cope with the devastation caused by the disaster. To mitigate the deadly effect of a natural disaster, different resources are essential at the emergency sites. Disaster response activities also need the assignment of various critical tasks to be carried out by different emergency workers at the local level. The individual emergency locations convey their demands for resources and required services to the higher-level authorities. Depending on availability, the higher-level authority allocates resources through successive lower levels to the emergency sites. This paper proposes a model for the hierarchical flow of different resources during disaster management in the Indian context, from the top-level authority to the lower levels. This hierarchical architecture also incorporates the allocation of different essential tasks at the ground level to reduce the effect of a natural disaster locally.

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Data Availability Statement

The authors declare that the data supporting the findings of this study are available within the article.


\(A_{j}^{T}\) :

The allocation of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource at TCC level

\(A_{ij}^{M}\) :

The allocation of the \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource to \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(A_{\hat{i}j}^{M_{i}L}\) :

The allocation of the \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource for \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC unit of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(C_{in}^{M}\) :

The relative criticality of the \(n^{\text {th}}\) forecasted parameter of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(D_{ij}^{b}\) :

Basic demand of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC considering forecast

\(D_{ij}^{e}\) :

Excess demand of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC considering forecast

\(D_{ij}^{o}\) :

Overall demand of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC considering forecast

\(\eta\) :

Allocation factors such as population density and disaster level at TCC level

\(\hat{\eta }\) :

Allocation factors at TCC level

\(E_{in}^{M}\) :

The value of the \(n^{\text {th}}\) forecasted parameter of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(E_{n}^{\text {max}}\) :

The maximum value of the \(n^{\text {th}}\) forecasted parameter

\(f_{ik}\) :

The value of \(k^{\text {th}}\) factor of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(f_{i\hat{i}\hat{k}}\) :

The value of \(\hat{k}^{\text {th}}\) factor of \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(F_{ij}^{M}\) :

The maximum possible allocation of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource for the \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

i :

MCC index

\(\hat{i}\) :

LCC index

\(\tilde{i}\) :

ES index

j :

Resource item index

k :

Allocation parameter index at TCC level

\(\hat{k}\) :

Allocation parameter index at MCC level

\(l_{i}\) :

Number of LCC unit under \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(L_{\hat{i}}\) :

\(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC

m :

Number of MCC units

n :

Forecasted parameter index

\(M_{i}\) :

\(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

n :

Number of different resources available at TCC level

\(p_{i}^{M}\) :

The allocation weight of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(p_{i\hat{i}}^L\) :

The weight of \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(P_{T_{x}}\) :

Priority of task \(T_{x}\)

r :

The total number of forecasted parameters

\(R_{j}^T\) :

Amount of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource available to TCC

\(R_{ij}^{M}\) :

The requirement of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC for the \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource

\(R_{\hat{i}j}^{M_{i}L}\) :

The requirement of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource by \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(T_{x}\) :

Task vector consists of requirements of number of GVs, UAVs, and boat

\(w_{k}\) :

The weight of \(k^{\text {th}}\) allocation factor provided at TCC level

\(\hat{w_{k}}\) :

The weight of \(\hat{k}^{\text {th}}\) allocation factor provided at MCC level

\(W_{ij}^{M}\) :

The resource allocation vector of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resource for the \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(W_{\hat{i}j}^{M_{i}L}\) :

The resource allocation vector of \(j^{\text {th}}\) resources for the \(\hat{i}^{\text {th}}\) LCC of \(i^{\text {th}}\) MCC

\(\zeta _{n}\) :

Relative weight of \(n^{\text {th}}\) forecast parameter


Critical supply


Emergency site


Ground vehicle


Low-level control centre


Middle-level control centre


Normal supply


Relief supply




Survivor tracking


Top-level control centre


Unmanned aerial vehicle


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The research work was supported by the EPSRC, EP/P02839X/1 ``Emergency flood planning and management using unmanned aerial systems". The authors would like to thank their colleagues in the EPSRC project partner institutes, University of Exeter, Cranfield University, Indian Institute of Science, Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology Delhi, and the Tata Consultancy Services, for their help and assistance.

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Jana, S., Majumder, R., Menon, P.P. et al. Decision Support System (DSS) for Hierarchical Allocation of Resources and Tasks for Disaster Management. Oper. Res. Forum 3, 37 (2022).

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