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Society For Risk Analysis Annual Meeting 2008

Risk Analysis: the Science and the Art

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Risk Analysis to Support Counter-Terrorism, Security, and Disaster Response

Room: Webster   4:00-5:30 PM

Chair(s): Henry Willis

T4-I.1  16:00  Estimating the Effects of Counter-Terrorism on Terrorist Threat. John RS*, Rosoff H; University of Southern California

Abstract: This presentation describes a general methodology for estimating the relative likelihood of various terrorist events and results obtained from an application of this methodology. The central focus of this methodology is a model of terrorist objectives and values using a proxy multi-attribute utility model. We describe an application that includes an extensive literature review as well as interviews with four separate surrogate terrorist intelligence analysts. Results suggest that terrorist preferences for attack mode are sensitive to certain counter-terrorism strategies and insensitive to others. Extensive interviews were conducted with four separate surrogate terrorist intelligence analysts to elicit information about terrorist beliefs, uncertainties, value trade-offs, and attitude towards risk. The results of these interviews are four separate multi-attribute models of alternative attack modes for an identified terrorist organization. Monte Carlo simulation methods are used to obtain a risk profile for each attack mode, spanning a broad range of plausible attack modes. These risk profiles reflect uncertainties for both the surrogate analyst and the terrorist leader, but ultimately capture the total uncertainty regarding the desirability of alternative terror attack modes. A method is described for computing relative terrorist choice probabilities from the utility distributions for each terrorist attack mode, based on logic analogous to that used in constructing a random utility model (RUM). Further insight is gained by partitioning the total uncertainty about the attractiveness of each attack mode into uncertainties about impacts, trade-offs, risk attitudes, and likelihood of attack success.

T4-I.2  16:20  Public response to terrorism: Connecting links between perceived risk and economic impacts. Burns W*; Decision Research

Abstract: To capture the community response and economic impacts following a terrorist attack a system dynamics model was constructed that is capable of addressing the complex and nonlinear properties of this kind of community crisis. Casualties and property damage was represented using estimates from a leading provider of risk information to insurers and specialist in terrorist modeling. Interviews with community leaders and first responders provided input for modeling emergency response systems. Public response was based on data gathered from a longitudinal survey using different disaster scenarios that unfold over time consistent with crisis news reporting. Interviews with news professionals were used to determine patterns of journalistic behavior in the communication of threat, focusing on the three types of structural information that people commonly search for following a crisis: damages, causes, and future threats. An economic analysis of the immediate and long-term consequences using computable general equilibrium (CGE) modeling provided estimates of the direct and indirect impacts of risk amplifying effects likely to follow such an event. The CGE model was based on consumer and producer decisions informed by the longitudinal risk perception surveys and analyses.

T4-I.3  16:40  Using Risk Analysis and Constructive Simulation to Evaluate Border Security Technologies. MacKenzie C, Willis HH*; Stanford University, RAND Corporation

Abstract: Evaluating new technologies for border security is difficult because of the scope and complexity of the task. Using border surveillance as an example, this study presents the results from a probabilistic risk analysis model and constructive simulation of the 28-mile demonstration project conducted as part of SBI Net. The work provides an example of how these methods can be used to help evaluate proposed technologies for border security and develop concepts of operation for their use.

T4-I.4  17:00  Defender-Attacker Decision Trees for Terrorism Risk Analysis. von Winterfeldt D*; University of Southern California

Abstract: Terrorism risk analysis is complicated by the fact that terrorists can observe our defensive actions and adapt to them by changing tactics or targets. In this presentation I will propose an adaptive and dynamic decision tree framework which begins with defensive actions, followed by the attackers’ actions which are represented as events, followed by additional defensive actions and subsequent attackers’ adaptations. This framework was applied to the problem of protecting airplanes against missile attacks. The framework will also be compared with traditional extended forms of games.

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