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ISCRAM2007 Tutorial and Workshop

We are offering a special tutorial and a workshop at ISCRAM2007 by Tim Grant and Timothy Coombs, two well-known researchers and respected members of our community. These special events take place on Sunday May 13, and require registration (using the registration site). The registration cost per event is 50 Euro.

Workshop Timothy Coombs: Building a Crisis Sensing Mechanism

A crisis sensing is a systematic means of collecting crisis risk information and is built on three points: (1) locating the source of crisis risk information; (2) funneling the crisis risk information to a central location: and (3) making sure the crisis risk information is analyzedóconverted into knowledge. Sources, collection tools, and evaluation criteria are the raw materials used to construct the crisis sensing mechanism--the crisis radar and tracking system. Moreover, there are opportunities for intelligent systems to aid in the development and utilization of crisis sensing. While each organization is unique and requires slightly different crisis sensing mechanisms, there are generic aspects of crisis sensing that can be identified.

This workshop will cover the dynamics of crisis sensing, identify key factors necessary for developing a crisis sensing mechanisms, place crisis sensing into the larger crisis management process, and consider ways to apply intelligent systems to crisis sensing. Participants will apply the generic aspects of crisis sensing and discuss ways that ideas from intelligent systems can help in the evaluation portion of crisis sensing.

Tim Coombs is Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Studies at Eastern Illinois University, USA.

Tutorial Tim Grant: Operational Process Models for Intelligent Crisis Management

Expert practitioners are intelligent systems for crisis response and management. Information systems provide the support practitioners need to gather information, to assess the situation, to plan one or more suitable responses, to collaborate with other practitioners, to make decisions, to issue instructions, to generate reports, and to learn from or adapt to novel situations.

Within the software engineering community it is well known that designing information systems to be compatible with their usersí mental models increases the usability and acceptance of those systems. Many software development methods take as their starting point the business or operational process models to be found in the application domain.

Looking at past ISCRAM conferences, there does not appear to be a generally accepted process model for crisis response and management. By contrast, John Boydís Observe-Orient-Decide-Act (OODA) model has become the de-facto standard in military Command & Control (C2). However, there are many other models that could claim to improve on OODAís shortcomings. Operational processes models can be found in the literatures on human supervisory control, situation awareness, naturalistic decision making, and cybernetics. Application domains vary from industrial process control, through fire-fighting, computer security risk management, critical care nursing, and chess tournament play, to corporate strategy, besides the obvious military applications.

The motivation for this tutorial is to bring key knowledge about operational process models into the ISCRAM community. This will enable a common starting point for debate, research and IS development. The tutorial is based on the bachelors-level Command & Control Systems course at the Netherlands Defence Academy and on the honours-level Advanced ICT for Planning and Control course at the University of Pretoria, South Africa.

Tim Grant is Professor, Operational ICT & Communications, Netherlands Defence Academy (NLDA) and Visiting Professor, Department of Computer Science, University of Pretoria, South Africa.


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