Oil Spill Response Planning in SIPE-2
SRI International is developing an oil spill response configuration
system to help U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) planners determine the
appropriate response equipment and personnel for major spills. The
overall objective is to develop an operational prototype for a spill
response system that could be used by on-scene coordinators for major
spills anywhere on the U.S. coastline, and that could be used in
training exercises. In this domain, SIPE-2 and other software tools
have been applied to support plan development and evaluation, spill
trajectory modeling, and map display of planning results. The
resulting application has been demonstrated to various USCG personnel
at the regional and national levels.
SRI's approach has been to design a tool using SIPE-2 to plan the
deployment and employment of each major piece of equipment during a
simulated spill. Spill simulations are developed either from historic
spill records or from a trajectory projection model of oil spreading
on the sea. The USCG has done extensive studies of the risk of oil
spills along the U.S. coast; from these studies a representative set
of spill scenarios can be selected for equipment configuration
planning. The planning methodology in SIPE-2 breaks the top-level
problem into a set of subgoals. Each subgoal can be further broken
down into lower-level subgoals that, at the lowest level, are broken
down into equipment deployment and employment procedures. The system
will keep track of the constraints of time precedence, concurrent
resource use, and deployment time, in order to determine the feasible
choices at each planning point, based on the situation, equipment
capabilities, and prior actions. As planning proceeds, the user can
interactively direct the planner and a simulator will determine the
resulting disposition of the oil, and its eventual effects and
damage. The best equipment configurations will be determined by
comparison of the effectiveness of alternative plans, starting with
varying assumptions about the equipment level and location.
An August 1994 demonstration showed how the system would help USCG
planners develop oil spill response plans, determine the appropriate
equipment and personnel required to respond to the spill, and identify
deficiencies in the equipment inventory by analyzing the tradeoff
between the cost of equipment and environmental damage. It also
described how the system could be configured to provide support at the
national and regional levels.
The following image shows an oil-spill--response plan at a high
level of abstraction. The green hexagons are goals still to be solved
and the blue capsules are actions. After expansion to the lowest level,
this plan may contain hundreds of actions.
For more detail on this application, click here.
This application was funded by the United States Coast Guard and
originally done by a team lead by Dr. Roberto Desimone. The final
project leader was Dr. John Mark Agosta.
David E. Wilkins
Last modified: Mon Oct 23 14:04:12 2000