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Future Internet 2019, 11(1), 20; https://doi.org/10.3390/fi11010020

ESCAPE: Evacuation Strategy through Clustering and Autonomous Operation in Public Safety Systems

Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM 87131, USA
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Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 10 January 2019 / Accepted: 16 January 2019 / Published: 17 January 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue 10th Anniversary Feature Papers)
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Abstract

Natural disasters and terrorist attacks pose a significant threat to human society, and have stressed an urgent need for the development of comprehensive and efficient evacuation strategies. In this paper, a novel evacuation-planning mechanism is introduced to support the distributed and autonomous evacuation process within the operation of a public safety system, where the evacuees exploit the capabilities of the proposed ESCAPE service, towards making the most beneficial actions for themselves. The ESCAPE service was developed based on the principles of reinforcement learning and game theory, and is executed at two decision-making layers. Initially, evacuees are modeled as stochastic learning automata that select an evacuation route that they want to go based on its physical characteristics and past decisions during the current evacuation. Consequently, a cluster of evacuees is created per evacuation route, and the evacuees decide if they will finally evacuate through the specific evacuation route at the current time slot or not. The evacuees’ competitive behavior is modeled as a non-co-operative minority game per each specific evacuation route. A distributed and low-complexity evacuation-planning algorithm (i.e., ESCAPE) is introduced to implement both the aforementioned evacuee decision-making layers. Finally, the proposed framework is evaluated through modeling and simulation under several scenarios, and its superiority and benefits are revealed and demonstrated. View Full-Text
Keywords: evacuation planning; public safety systems; rescue management; adversarial environments; terrorist attacks; natural disasters; reinforcement learning; minority games evacuation planning; public safety systems; rescue management; adversarial environments; terrorist attacks; natural disasters; reinforcement learning; minority games
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Fragkos, G.; Apostolopoulos, P.A.; Tsiropoulou, E.E. ESCAPE: Evacuation Strategy through Clustering and Autonomous Operation in Public Safety Systems. Future Internet 2019, 11, 20.

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