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Developing a coherent global view for post disaster situation awareness using opportunistic network

Situational awareness is a critical component in a post-disaster recovery operation for assessment of needs and identification of available resources at different parts of a disaster-affected area. This information, in turn, may help the relief agencies to appropriately coordinate, manage and channelize their resources. A major hindrance in developing such global situational awareness is the non-uniform interaction pattern of relief workers. Volunteers in a particular region have much better knowledge of the local situation than those belonging to regions further away. This information asymmetry leads to deviation in perceptions of volunteers working in different regions, thereby affecting the resource distribution process.

Thus, a unified global situational view of the entire disaster affected area is essential to bridge the perception gap of volunteers and to help them develop a common understanding of the actual scenario. In this paper, we propose a scheme for developing such a coherent global view of the post-disaster situation using local situational information in a smart-phone based delay tolerant peer-to-peer network environment.We focus on generating a comprehensive view which is consistent for all workers irrespective of their location or mobility. The proposed scheme takes into account the spatial locality and spatial regularity properties of human mobility and uses a concept of “opportunistic knowledge injection” to disseminate local situational knowledge to other remote areas without significantnetwork overhead. The effectiveness of the proposal is evaluated on the ONE simulator.