Selective Routing for Post-disaster Needs Assessments

  • Burcu BalcikEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Springer Proceedings in Mathematics & Statistics book series (PROMS, volume 185)


In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, relief agencies perform needs assessment operations to investigate the effects of the disaster and understand the needs of the affected communities. Since assessments must be performed quickly, it may not be possible to visit each site in the affected region. In practice, sites to be visited during the assessment period are selected considering the characteristics of the target communities. In this study, we address site selection and routing decisions of the rapid needs assessment teams that aim to evaluate the post-disaster conditions of a diverse set of community groups with different characteristics (e.g., ethnicity, income level, etc.) within a limited period of time. In particular, we study the Selective Assessment Routing Problem (SARP) that determines sites to be visited and the order of site visits for each team while ensuring sufficient coverage of the given set of characteristics. We present a mathematical model and greedy heuristics for the SARP. We perform numerical analysis to evaluate the performance of the greedy heuristics and show that the heuristic version that balances the tradeoff between coverage and travel times provides reasonable solutions for realistic problem instances.


Needs assessment Selective routing Coverage Purposive sampling Greedy heuristics 



This work was presented at the 2nd International Conference on Dynamics of Disasters, Kalamata, Greece, June 29–July 2, 2015. This research has been funded by the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK) Career Award [213M414]. The author would like to thank Ilknur Singin, Alperen Talaslioglu, Busra Uydasoglu, Burak Guragac, and Yasin Dogan for their help with various phases of this ongoing project. The author would also thank to the Science Academy of Turkey for the BAGEP research award.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Industrial Engineering DepartmentOzyegin UniversityIstanbulTurkey

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