KIRAS Security Research

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Projects of the joint German-Austrian call

Cooperative Research and Innovation Projects >Call 2018 >


Crisis Management using Multimodal Interaction for Stakeholders and Citizens

Objective: Project COMISO evaluates the use of artificial intelligence to implement novel patterns of interaction in crisis and disaster management and thus addresses unsolved problems in the preparation and availability of heterogeneous data. On the one hand, the interaction of crisis managers with computational systems will be streamlined and made more efficient; both in the command centre and in the field. On the other hand, the interaction with, and engagement of, the public will be individualised and becomes more scalable through new interaction patterns and selective automation. 

Problem: Retrieving information from command and control systems currently requires complex graphical interfaces. In the event of a crisis, this can lead to an information deficit of operational management, despite all necessary information being available in the underlying IT systems. Forces in the field, additionally, must contend with adverse environmental conditions and stressful situations. These allow for little attention when handling digital input on mobile devices. Furthermore, quick and efficient access to specific information is often not possible. Thus, capturing digital information on site is difficult to carry out. Citizens, on the other hand, need relevant information in an individualized and accessible way to support their decision-making process in the face of uncertain situations. This need is currently fulfilled via telephone hotlines, which can lead to delayed transmission of information in a crisis situation. 

Hypotheses: COMISO is based on three hypotheses: 1) A.I.-based dialog systems and speech recognition make data more efficiently accessible to all stakeholders (crisis managers, civilian population and field professionals). The need for telephone conversations and, thus, any sources of error in the information transmission is reduced. 2) Individual perspectives on heterogeneous datasets enable dialog systems that can easily be adapted for different user groups. 3) The digitization and integration of information from amateur radio clubs enables robust communication, even when traditional networks fail. These assumptions result in a hitherto untapped solution space, consisting of novel interaction profiles and associated data management. 

Method: COMISO sheds light on a new solution space in crisis and disaster management through empirical research on technological development, technical feasibility and user benefits. For this purpose, a technological concept is developed, which represents a selected area of the solution space. This concept utilises results from diverse previous research areas and advances them towards an unprecedented, novel solution.  

Expected Results: The developed concept lays the foundation for a subsequent implementation and evaluation. Corroboration of the formulated hypotheses would provide the basis for future technological development with significant added value for all stakeholders. Perspectives that have not been fully considered so far can be represented. The digitization of crisis and disaster management in Austria would be advanced significantly.  

Project leader
Dr. Mario Drobics AIT Austrian Institute of Technology, Center for Digital Safety & Security

Project partner
Amt der Steiermärkischen Landesregierung, Landesamtsdirektion, Fachabteilung Katastrophenschutz und Landes-verteidigung
Intergraph Ges.m.b.H.
Snapworx OG
TU Wien, Institut für Gestaltungs- und Wirkungsforschung, Fakultät für Informatik
JOANNEUM RESEARCH Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
Universität Wien, Arbeitsgruppe Rechtsinformatik
BMLV - Bundesministerium für Landesverteidigung

Dr. Mario Drobics