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Maths can now manage natural calamities!

IBM scientists have created a specialised algorithm, `stochastic optimisation model', to help model and manage natural disasters like wildlife, floods and diseases.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, Bangalore
UPDATED ON APR 01, 2008 08:41 PM IST

IBM on Tuesday announced that its scientists have created specialised math algorithms to help model and manage natural disasters like wildlife, floods and diseases.

IBM's `stochastic optimisation model' was developed by scientists from IBM Research Labs in New York and India working with business experts from IBM's Global Business Services to help relief agencies, government bodies and companies with tools for strategic planning for more effective allocation of resources for natural disaster management.

"Our researchers have worked on innovative optimisation solutions designed to create a roadmap for a responsive disaster risk reduction", said Dr Daniel Dias, Director, IBM India Research Laboratory adding the challenge lay in matching high end mathematical programming technologies with high impact business and societal problems.

The models can be explored to manage floods or famines in India or natural disasters anywhere in the world. A fully developed customised and implemented model can significantly help the approach for disaster risk reduction and management.

In case of flooding, the stochastic model would use various flood scenarios, resource supply capabilities at different dispatch locations and fixed and variable costs associated various risk measures, a release said.

By assigning probabilities to the factors driving outcomes, the model outlines how limited resources can meet tomorrow's unknown demands or liabilities. In this way, the risks and rewards of various tradeoffs can be explored.

The model allows unforeseen challenges to be solved mostly within an hour, and has scalability to manage even larger models in future.

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