Towards a Semantic Grid Computing Platform for Disaster Management in Built Environment
Current disaster management procedures rely primarily on heuristics which result in their strategies being very cautious and sub-optimum in terms of saving life, minimising damage and returning the building to its normal function. Also effective disaster management demands decentralized, dynamic, flexible, short term and across domain resource sharing, which is not well supported by existing distributing computing infrastructres. The paper proposes a conceptual framework for emergency management in the built environment, using Semantic Grid as an integrating platform for different technologies. The framework supports a distributed network of specialists in built environment, including structural engineers, building technologists, decision analysts etc. It brings together the necessary technology threads, including the Semantic Web (to provide a framework for shared definitions of terms, resources and relationships), Web Services (to provide dynamic discovery and integration) and Grid Computing (for enhanced computational power, high speed access, collaboration and security control) to support rapid formation of virtual teams for disaster management. The proposed framework also make an extensive use of modelling and simulation (both numerical and using visualisations), data mining (to find resources in legacy data sets) and visualisation. It also include a variety of hardware instruments with access to real time data. Furthermore the whole framework is centred on collaborative working by the virtual team. Although focus of this paper is on disaster management, many aspects of the discussed Grid and Visualisation technologies will be useful for any other forms of collaboration. Conclusions are drawn about the possible future impact on the built environment.
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