New trends and opportunities in post-disaster relief optimization problems
Keywords:Post-disaster relief, Optimization problems, Large-scale disasters, Humanitarian logistics
Goal: Post-disaster operations are a challenging issue, which becomes very complex due to the high density of population in urban areas. Thus, efficient relief operations are very relevant in attenuating the impacts of disasters on the population. For this purpose, optimizing post disaster operations plays a key role, and such issues are focused on this contribution.
Design / Methodology / Approach: Optimization problems appearing in the aftermath of disasters, related to accessibility, distribution and facility location are summarized. They were addressed using real data and the core of such problems was identified in a bottom-up approach, by analyzing the situation on the ground.
Results: Examples of results are presented by means of maps with decision support information. A case study on an addressed location problem is described for the 2015 Kathmandu earthquake. In addition, new trends and opportunities are pointed out, taking into account technological tools, the endogenous characteristics of disasters and emerging applications.
Limitations of the investigation: Regarding the Kathmandu case study, two issues are left for future studies: the uncertain data associated with the affected population and the elasticity of demands.
Practical implications: The data treatment to produce inputs for the algorithms and suitable outputs for the relief teams highlight a collective effort and a real opportunity to use the results practically for humanitarian logistics.
Originality / Value: The optimization models were progressively approached to the situation on the ground, which permits us to identify difficult aspects of the problems, while remaining pragmatic enough to solve real issues.
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