Optimal Flood Mitigation over Flood Propagation Approximations

  • Byron TasseffEmail author
  • Russell Bent
  • Pascal Van Hentenryck
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9676)


Globally, flooding is the most frequent among all natural disasters, commonly resulting in damage to infrastructure, economic catastrophe, and loss of life. Since the flow of water is influenced by the shape and height of topography, an effective mechanism for preventing and directing floods is to use structures that increase height, e.g., levees and sandbags. In this paper, we introduce the Optimal Flood Mitigation Problem (OFMP), which optimizes the positioning of barriers to protect critical assets with respect to a flood scenario. In its most accurate form, the OFMP is a challenging optimization problem that combines nonlinear partial differential equations with discrete barrier choices. The OFMP requires solutions that combine approaches from computational simulation and optimization. Herein, we derive linear approximations to the shallow water equations and embed them in the OFMP. Preliminary results demonstrate their effectiveness.


Flood mitigation Nonlinear programming Mixed integer programming Approximations 



We gratefully acknowledge our early discussions on flood modeling and mitigation with Feng Pan and David Judi at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [6]. The work at LANL was carried out under the auspices of the National Nuclear Security Administration of the U.S. Department of Energy at Los Alamos National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC52-06NA25396.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Byron Tasseff
    • 1
    Email author
  • Russell Bent
    • 1
  • Pascal Van Hentenryck
    • 2
  1. 1.Los Alamos National LaboratoryLos AlamosUSA
  2. 2.University of MichiganAnn ArborUSA

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