Categories: ISCRAM2006 Conference


Abstracts for Ph.D. Colloquium, Workshops, and Special Sessions

Ph.D. Colloquium and Workshops

Sunday, May 14, 2006, 10am-4pm

Ph.D. Student Colloquium Abstract

Chair:  David Mendonça,, Information Systems Department, New Jersey Institute of Technology

Co-chairs and past Ph.D. colloquium participants and awardees:

Jonas Landgren, , Viktoria Institute, Sweden

Jiri Trnka,, Linköping University, Sweden

The Ph.D. Student Colloquium of the ISCRAM 2006 conference supports the goal of developing and sustaining a network of young scholars working in the area of Information Systems for crisis response and management.  The one-day colloquium links current Ph.D. students to each other and to a range of senior researchers, enabling various types of interaction among them.  It provides an opportunity for students to refine and focus their thesis research based on input from all students and faculty colloquium participants.  A detailed description and application instructions are available at

Participants will have a chance to review all accepted proposals before the colloquium and there will be an award for the best three research summaries.  Ph.D. students may also submit “research in progress” or regular papers to the ISCRAM meeting itself.

Workshop Abstracts

Workshop Process Description:

There will be a chance for review and online discussion of the position papers by the members of a workshop prior to the meeting.  Following the face-to-face workshop, a volunteer subgroup will develop a report based upon the final views generated at the workshop.  This report will be published on the ISCRAM website and a journal outlet will be sought.  Final position papers by individual participants will be published on the ISCRAM website (with permission of the individual authors) after the workshops along with the collaborative report of the participants in the workshop.  A summary will be presented during the main ISCRAM meeting by the workshop chair.  Authors will have a chance to revise their position papers after the workshop. They also decline to have them included in the appendix to the final workshop report.

Emergency Management Information Systems: Future needs and requirements

Chair: Paul Burghardt;

Research Manager at Delft Consortium on Intelligent Systems, Netherlands

The purpose of this workshop is to establish a common vision on future requirements on information systems for crisis response and management that are not currently being met by operational systems.  Practitioners are invited to submit a position paper based on their experience in real world crisis situations.  Researchers are encouraged to draw conclusions from their academic work in terms of future needs and requirements.  Position papers are three to five pages single spaced. 

Future Communication Requirements for Emergency Response


Alexandra Hubenko Baker,

B. S. Manoj,

UCSD Calit2

University of California and

The objectives of this workshop are to discuss, analyze, and arrive at a few realizable goals to make today’s communication technology and infrastructures reliable and available for facing emergency situations. Electronic communication systems have become one of the most inevitable parts of human life and their failure during emergency situations cannot be handled without changes in the way today’s networks are designed.  Researchers and practitioners are requested to submit position papers to based on their research, experience, and observation.  Real world experiences and results originated from them are particularly valuable in this endeavor. Researchers, practitioners, and academicians are particularly encouraged to put forth their views on what the near term and long term views on this topic.

Providing Assurance by Auditing Emergency Preparedness: Role of the auditor

Audit Workshop Review Committee:

Co-Chair: Murray Turoff,

Michael Chumer,

Robb Klashner,

Information Systems Department

College of Computing Sciences

New Jersey Institute of Technology

Co-Chair: Michael Alles,

Alexander Kogan,

Miklos Vasarhelyi

J. Donald Warren Jr.,

Accounting and Information Systems, Rutgers Business School

Rutgers University

Trony Clifton: CPA, CISA, CFSA,, Educational Chair, NJ Chapter Information Systems Audit, and Control Association

B. Elisabeth Rossen,, Executive Forensic Accounting Program, Florida Atlantic University

This workshop is based upon the following published paper:

Turoff, M., M. Chumer, R. Hiltz, R. Klashner, M. Alles, M. Vasarhelyi, and A. Kogan, “Assuring Homeland Security: Continuous Monitoring, Control & Assurance of Emergency Preparedness,” Journal of Information Technology Theory and Application (JITTA), 6:3, 2004, 1-24.  a copy may be obtained from

Establishing a reliable and credible state of emergency preparedness (EP) requires an audit capability that provides decision makers and first responders with assurance as to the systems actual capabilities.  “EP Trust” requires sets of controls and criteria that auditors can use to measure the degree of EP of organizations.  This workshop intends to bring together professionals, academics, and practitioners hope to extend the role of the auditor in EP by providing this forum for an interdisciplinary group to develop a collaborative white paper about the future steps for obtaining this objective.  An accepted informal position paper is necessary for attending this workshop.  There is a related conference session for formal papers on current accomplishments on the involvement of auditors in any phase of Emergency Preparedness and Management. 

Forecasting, Risk Assessment, and decision support systems for large scale evacuations

Chair:  Rene Windhouwer,

Co-Chair:  Bartel Van de Walle,

Tsunami’s, floodings, hurricanes are natural disasters that have one thing in common.  A reliable forecast creates a certain warning time that can be used for a large scale evacuation to prevent or reduce the number of casualties.  The main objective of the workshop is to answer the question how we can use decision support systems to improve the emergency management in general and evacuation management more specific, so that we can use the warning time optimally.  The workshop tries to close the gap between policy makers, scientist, and practitioners.  Searches for the needs and requirements that have to be met, obstructions that have to be overcome and what could be done to improve the current gap between planning and execution in the area of large scale evacuations.

Special Session Abstracts

May 15-17, 2006, Monday to Wednesday

Audit activities and functions in Emergency Preparedness


B. Elisabeth Rossen,, Executive Forensic Accounting Program, Florida Atlantic University

Co-Chair: Michael Alles,

Donald Warren,

Accounting and Information Systems, Rutgers Business School

Rutgers University

This session addresses how auditors approach the daunting task of assuring the preparedness and use of information systems in any or all phases of the “Lifecycle of Emergency Preparedness and Response” (planning, training, mitigation, detection, alerting, response, recovery, and assessment).  It also concerns the compounding of the audit challenges by the integration of Information System functions across systems and organizations.

Communication Challenges in Emergency Response

Chair:  B. S. Manoj,

Co-Chair:  Alexandra Hubenko Baker,

UCSD Calit2

University of California and

In every emergency situation, the response actions are aggravated by a chaotic communications scenario.  There are two critical elements to this communication chaos: the first is human communication behavior in an emergency scenario; the second is the design of the communication networks that are generally designed for peace time traffic.  It has become imperative to study the behavior of people and networks via communication scenarios in an emergency situation.  In this session, we focus on two major areas and/or their relationships: Social communication issues and Communication Technology Issues.

Communities in Emergency Management

Chair:  Wendy Schafer,

Penn State University
More Information

Co-chair:  John Carroll,

Edward M. Frymoyer Professor

Penn State University

This session examines emergency management as a community activity.  It broadly defines community to include geographic communities, single agency communities, multi-agency communities, communities of emergency managers, volunteer communities, and online communities.  The papers will discuss theoretical perspectives, case studies, technology design implications, as well as technological innovations surrounding the topic.  The papers will discuss theoretical perspectives, case studies, technology design implications, as well as technological innovations surrounding the topic.

Comparing Military and Civil Information Systems for Emergency Preparedness and Response

Chair: Tim Grant,

Professor Operational ICT & Communications

Netherlands Defense Academy (NLDA)

The special session solicits submissions that compare, contrast, and cross-benchmark civil and military Information Systems, that propose a model or methodology for comparison, or that describe a civil or military IS so as to facilitate comparison and benchmarking.  Submissions may address the complete lifecycle of emergency preparedness and response or part of that lifecycle.  Example submissions include (but are not limited to): full papers presenting common concepts, processes, and architectures or comparison models or methodologies; reports on research in progress on common concepts, processes, and architectures or comparison models or methodologies; practitioner cases on comparing or interoperating civil and military Information Systems.

Creating and using the window of opportunity

Chair:  Rene Windhouwer,

This session seeks papers concerned with the use of the interval between detection of a threat and the actual occurrence to improve preparedness and mitigate damage.  It will explore the following questions:  Which methodologies can we use to assess the (multi)risks in a certain area?  Can those methodologies create a certain warning that can be used in the response phase to reduce the risk and consequences of the disaster?  How could the risks be mapped and what role can the maps play in the risk and crisis communication, training and exercising of the emergency managers?  What role can Decision Support Systems play by using the window of opportunity?

Emergency Response Reachback: Cases, Concepts, Processes, and Tools

Chair:  Steven R. Haynes,

Co-chairs: John M. Carroll,

Steve. Sawyer,

School of Information Sciences & Technology, Penn State University

Reachback refers to knowledge-intensive processes and tools that make available to emergency response personnel in the field the full range and depth of an organization’s knowledge assets.  Reachback is particularly concerned with how distributed knowledge assets can be leveraged in response to a critical information need.  This session will explore theories, models, techniques, and tools to inform development of a reachback science for emergency management and crisis response.

Exploring Knowledge Management in Crisis Response

Chair:  Murray E. Jennex, PhD, P.E., CISSP,

San Diego State University, Editor in Chief, International Journal of Knowledge Management

This session defines crisis knowledge as experience from previous responses to crisis with subsequent analysis as to the effectiveness and appropriateness of those responses.  This session will solicit papers that explore the use of Knowledge Management techniques to manage this knowledge and bring it to bear during crisis response to aid decision makers in determining appropriate courses of action.

Human factors aspects in multi-agency crisis management

Chair:  Elizabeth Carver,

Executive Scientist, Advanced Technology Centre


This session will aim to better understand the social, organizational, and cognitive aspects of crisis and emergency management and to identify the barriers and enablers with respect to technology, process, and people.

Key topics: multi-agency communication and collaboration, capturing real world experience, human impacts of technology, shared awareness by stakeholders.

Incident Command Systems Workflow Management

Chair: Allen Milewski,

Co-chair:  Jiacun Wang,

Department of Software Engineering

Center for Rapid Response Database Systems

Monmouth University, NJ

Workflow management is a critical aspect of Incident Command processes designed to respond to terror attacks or natural disasters. Currently, most workflow systems do not provide the flexibility required by the Incident Command environment to deal with, e.g., event-driven changes, a diverse and distributed workforce, integration with a variety of tools and on-the-fly verification.  The goal of this special session is to discuss what capabilities workflow systems need to better deal with these issues.  This flexibility becomes of paramount importance in applications such as incident command systems (ICS), which are designed to respond to terror attacks or natural disasters.

Information, Communication, and Coordination Issues from Hurricane Katrina

John R. Harrald,

Director, George Washington Institute for Crisis Disaster and Risk Management

Information management problems and the failure of critical communication infrastructure crippled the early response efforts to Hurricane Katrina resulting in increased human suffering and economic loss.  The objective of this session is to describe the most significant of these issues, identify the factors that caused the failures, and identify the impacts on organizational decision making and performance.  Papers are solicited that describe technological issues (e.g. the total collapse of emergency communications), information management issues (e.g. the handling of information within and transferring information between EOCs), and the use of technology in organizational and individual decision support.  Papers on information, Coordination, and Communication issues in any of the recent Hurricanes in 2005 will be considered as well, especially where they identify reoccurring issues across the different events.  Papers based on empirical observation are particularly encouraged.  The session will be chaired by Dr. John R. Harrald who is a member of the National Research Council’s Committee on Using Information Technology to Enhance Disaster Management. 

Mobile Emergency Announcements and Multi Channel Emergency Announcements (MEA/MCEA) systems

Chair: Ronja Addams-Moring,
More Info

This is a call for full research papers, reports on research in progress and practitioner cases concerning mobile emergency announcements (MEA) systems, and the related multi-channel emergency announcements (MCEA) systems.  In a civil defense situation, such as a fire at a shopping centre, a multiple-car pileup on a freeway in foggy weather, the aftermath of a severe storm or the preparations before a radioactive fallout cloud arrives, the general public needs to know what they should and should not do.  The research issues of interest include, for example:  usable technologies for MEA systems; solutions to the locating and identification challenges (safety vs. privacy issues, especially in the legal context); how to provide efficient feedback channels for survivors when networks are congested, damaged or both; user acceptance of MEAs and MCEAs; and coordinating MEAs or MCEAs from different authorities.

Modelling and Computer Simulation of Disaster Plans and Emergency Response

Chair:  Maria A. Santos
Staff Profile

National Civil Engineering Laboratory, Hydraulics Department

Lisbon, Portugal

An emergency response simulation with the required functionalities (emergency plan representation, creation of scenarios of destruction, triggering alerts and dynamic coordination simulation) is a cost-effective means of emergency management and of personnel training.

Papers to be submitted must focus on emergency response modelling and computer simulation and personnel training. Case studies are welcome.  Topics to be addressed may include i) agent-based simulation and other knowledge-based methods; ii) theory of modelling and simulation; iii) synthetic environments; iv) collaborative work; v) decision analysis; and vi) game-based frameworks for emergency response simulation.

Multiagent Systems for Disaster Management and Response

Chair: Frank Fiedrich,, Institute for Crisis, Disaster, and Risk Management, George Washington University, Washington, D.C., USA,

Co-Chair:  Paul Burghardt, paul.burghardt@decis.nlDecis Lab Delft, Netherlands,

Multiagent Systems (MAS) provide a powerful framework for distributed decision making and decision support in complex and dynamic environments.  The special session focuses on the potential of MAS for emergency and disaster management and explores the IS requirements for the use of agent technology at various domain levels.  This includes unique architectures, standards, and other agent-based models for collaborative realtime decision making.

Multi-Disciplinary Requirements Capture for Emergency Management Systems

Chair: Paul Burghardt ;

Many R&D projects in the field of information systems for crisis response and management are confronted with the need to capture requirements from a multitude of stakeholders and organizational sources.  The need arises to acquire in depth knowledge of the domain and to refine the  requirements.  Authors are encouraged to submit examples of innovative multi-disciplinary approaches where methods from the social and management sciences have been merged with systems and software engineering processes.

Personal Area Networks for Emergency Response

Chair:  Susan McGrath,

Director, Emergency Readiness and Response Research Center, and

Associate Professor of Engineering, Dartmouth College

The Personal Area Networks (PANs) for Emergency Response session will focus on integration of sensors, networks and other information technologies to monitor, track and assess the state of responders and casualties in mass casualty incidents.  System level application of PAN data for such purposes as dynamic resource planning and allocation will also be discussed.

Public warning, information, and engagement

Chair:  Art Botterell,

Papers are invited that deal with any aspect of the design, development, deployment, operation, or evaluation of information systems for public warning, emergency public information and public collaborative media in emergencies.  Authors should focus on “citizen situational awareness,” input and approval of warning messages, coordination of multiple warning systems, warning to non-English speaking populations and to people with sensory disabilities, follow-on emergency public information, and participatory media.  We are particularly interested in new and challenging approaches to support for alerting, informing, and reassuring the public, and for allowing the public to assist in meeting their own information needs.

Real-time alerts for earthquakes and tsunami

Chair: Max Wyss, 

On a global scale, earthquakes can now be reliably located and their magnitude estimated within 10 to 15 minutes.  In local, high performance seismograph networks this is possible within seconds.  This session aims at summarizing the current level of capabilities to warn and to outline approaches to remove obstacle that still prevent us from effectively helping the population in the struggle against earthquake disasters.

Research Methods in Crisis Decision Making and Support

Chair:  David Mendonça,,

Information Systems Dept., New Jersey Institute of Technology

The main objective of this session is to display state of the art research methods intended to improve understanding of human decision making during disaster response and recovery.  The session will focus on methods that have been applied and evaluated, whether in the field, laboratory or in computer-based simulations.  Consistent with the theme of ISCRAM, papers are especially welcome that discuss how disaster research methodologies can be used to inform the design of information systems to support decision making during crisis response.

Stakeholder coordination for crisis management

Chair: Julie Dugdale,


Bernard Pavard,


Cognitive Engineering Research Group – Computer Science Research Institute of Toulouse), France

Emergency response, management, and training website

Narjes Bellamine-Ben Saoud,

RIADI-GDL, (University of La Manouba), Tunisia.

The involvement of varied stakeholders in crisis management adds another dimension to the complexity of a crisis and greatly complicates coordination efforts.  The aim of the session is to explore the theory and practices of stakeholder coordination (with a view to explicating the needs, resources, intentions and political dimensions of the stakeholders) and to examine how to design information systems that help coordinate efforts between stakeholders.

Standards in Emergency Management Systems

Chair:  Jane Fedorowicz

Co-chair:  Rae D. Anderson Professor of Accounting and Information Systems

Bentley College
Faculty Detail

One of the biggest challenges EMS face is the disparity among participants’ data, communication, technology, and process standards.  This session addresses EMS application and systems standards from a number of perspectives.  These may include standard setting processes and governance, or specific application and systems standards uses and issues in EMS settings.

System Dynamics Modeling for Emergency Response and Management

Chair:  Peter Otto,

Assistant Professor, MIS

Dowling College, School of Business

One challenge in investigating emergency preparedness and response is to not only understand the feedback effects and the potential performance of the complex situations that Emergency Response systems interact with, but also to obtain structural models from the people who are in the domain.  System dynamics could help us to better understand the relationships among factors shown to be important in crisis decision making.

Visualization in Emergency Management

Chair:  Erika Darling,

Principal Investigator of Information Visualization research

The MITRE Corporation, Bedford, MA, USA

Emergency preparedness and response personnel are faced with volumes of complex data from multiple sources and types that they must evaluate, correlate, and use to support time critical decisions.  Papers are invited that deal with any aspect of the design, development, deployment, operation, or evaluation of information systems for visualization pertinent to the lifecycle of emergency preparedness.  Of particular interest are innovative information systems for visualization that have been verified through observation or experiment.