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A Multi-Agent System to Improve Resilience of Critical Infrastructure in Cross-Border Disasters
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1  Karlsruhe Institute of Technology


The course of natural disasters is hard to forecast. Especially, these events do not stop at man-made borders between countries. In order to achieve a high resilience, it is important to overcome language and culture barriers and thereby to fasten the information and capacity exchange. Hence, a scenario-based simulation of cross-border communication and cooperation in crisis management yields a high potential to analyze different trajectories of a crisis and to find strategies for fast and robust reactions. Thereby, it can lead to a significant improvement of the resilience in a cross-border region. To this purpose, the paper outlines the scope for an agent-based simulation of cross-border cooperation in the case of a power blackout. For selected scenarios the simulation illustrates the dynamic evolution of the crisis where the failure of critical infrastructure together with people behavior directly affect the coping capacity of the health system. Taking an event-based perspective, it is possible to identify the root cause or first order effects of cascade failures which makes it possible to propose appropriate preventive measures. A second type of analysis refers to the interoperability of authorities. It can be analyzed how communication and coordination among actors of different nationalities can be improved such that delays in information flows are minimized. The mentioned multi-agent system is developed as part of the INCA-project, a decision framework for improving cross-border area resilience. Apart therefrom, the project comprises behavioural studies, expert interviews and workshops, which lead to a deeper understanding of the character of a cross-border area. By finding a robust strategy for the optimal intervention to dampen cascading effects in critical infrastructure and to minimize delays in information flows, the project aims to strengthen the resilience of the border region.

Keywords: Multi-agent system; disaster resilience; critical infrastructure; cross-border cooperation