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A New Agent-Based Methodology for the Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Areas

Department of Civil Engineering and Architecture, University of Catania, via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
Department of Physics and Astronomy “Ettore Majorana”, University of Catania, and INFN Sezione di Catania, via S. Sofia 64, 95123 Catania, Italy
Department of Biological, Geological and Environment Science, University of Catania, Corso Italia 57, 95129 Catania, Italy
Complexity Science Hub, Josefstaedter Strasse 39, 1080 Vienna, Austria
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8(6), 274;
Received: 26 April 2019 / Revised: 4 June 2019 / Accepted: 9 June 2019 / Published: 12 June 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Geomatics and Geo-Information in Earthquake Studies)
PDF [11365 KB, uploaded 16 June 2019]


In order to estimate the seismic vulnerability of a densely populated urban area, it would in principle be necessary to evaluate the dynamic behaviour of individual and aggregate buildings. These detailed seismic analyses, however, are extremely cost-intensive and require great processing time and expertise judgment. The aim of the present study is to propose a new methodology able to combine information and tools coming from different scientific fields in order to reproduce the effects of a seismic input in urban areas with known geological features and to estimate the entity of the damages caused on existing buildings. In particular, we present a new software called ABES (Agent-Based Earthquake Simulator), based on a Self-Organized Criticality framework, which allows to evaluate the effects of a sequence of seismic events on a certain large urban area during a given interval of time. The integration of Geographic Information System (GIS) data sets, concerning both geological and urban information about the territory of Avola (Italy), allows performing a parametric study of these effects on a real context as a case study. The proposed new approach could be very useful in estimating the seismic vulnerability and defining planning strategies for seismic risk reduction in large urban areas View Full-Text
Keywords: Seismic vulnerability; urban areas; GIS; agent-based simulations; self-organized criticality Seismic vulnerability; urban areas; GIS; agent-based simulations; self-organized criticality

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Greco, A.; Pluchino, A.; Barbarossa, L.; Barreca, G.; Caliò, I.; Martinico, F.; Rapisarda, A. A New Agent-Based Methodology for the Seismic Vulnerability Assessment of Urban Areas. ISPRS Int. J. Geo-Inf. 2019, 8, 274.

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