A game theory approach for assessing risk value and deploying search-and-rescue resources after devastating tsunamis

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Abstract

The current early-warning system and tsunami protection measures tend to fall short because they always underestimate the level of destruction, and it is difficult to predict the level of damage by a devastating tsunami on uncertain targets. As we know, the key to minimizing the total number of fatalities after a disaster is the deployment of search and rescue efforts in the first few hours. However, the resources available to the affected districts for emergency response may be limited. This study proposes two game theoretic models that are designed for search-and-rescue resource allocation. First, the interactions between a compounded disaster and a response agent in the affected district are modelled as a non-cooperative game, after which the risk value is derived for each district from the Nash equilibrium. The risk value represents the threat, vulnerability, and consequence of a specific disaster for the affected district. Second, the risk values for fifteen districts are collected for calculation of each district's Shapley value. Then an acceptable plan for resource deployment among all districts is made based on their expected marginal contribution. The model is verified in a simulation based upon 2011 tsunami data. The experimental results show the proposed approach to be more efficient than the proportional division of rescue resources, for dealing with compounded disaster, and is feasible as a method for planning the mobilization of resources and to improve relief efforts against devastating tsunamis.

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