Network Science
Human Dynamics

WIPER: the integrated wireless phone based emergency response system

We describe a prototype emergency response system. This dynamic data driven application system (DDDAS) uses wireless call data, including call volume, who calls whom, call duration, services in use, and cell phone location information. Since all cell phones (that are powered on) maintain contact with one or more local cell towers, location data about each phone is updated periodically and available throughout the cellular phone network. This permits the cell phones of a city to serve as an ad hoc mobile sensor net, measuring the movement and calling patterns of the population. Social network theory and statistical analysis on normal call activity and call locations establish a baseline. A detection and alert system monitors streaming summary cell phone call data. Abnormal call patterns or population movements trigger a simulation and prediction system. Hypotheses about the anomaly are generated by a rule-based system, each initiating an agent-based simulation. Automated dynamic validation of the simulations against incoming streaming data is used to test each hypothesis. A validated simulation is used to predict the evolution of the anomaly and made available to an emergency response decision support system.


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Marc Santolini and Albert-Laszlo Barabasi

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