Sixth International Conference in Computer Simulation Risk Analysis and Hazard Mitigation
5 - 7 May, 2008
The Sixth International Conference on Computer Simulation in Risk Analysis and Hazard Mitigation took place recently in Cephalonia, organised by the Wessex Institute of Technology (WIT) and the University of Thessaly in Greece, and was sponsored by WIT Transactions on Information and Communication Technologies.
The conference covered a series of important topics of current research interest and with practical applications. The meeting was concerned with all aspects of risk analysis and hazard mitigation, ranging from specific assessment of risk to mitigation associated with both natural and anthropogenic hazards.
The advances in computational methods and models to quantify hazards with high accuracy, combined with GIS systems which can provide spatial distribution of hazards involved, enhances the ability to perform an accurate risk analysis and offers more effective risk management. These developments are important for all areas of human endeavour and have particular relevance to environmental issues where the risks involved are substantial.
The meeting was opened by Professor Viktor Popov, Head of Environmental Fluid Mechanics Division at WIT and Professor Elias Beriatos, from the University of Thessaly, Greece, who welcomed the delegates to the Conference and wished them productive participation and pleasant stay at the Conference. Professor Popov passed on a message to the delegates from Professor Carlos Brebbia, the Director of the Wessex Institute of Technology, who could not attend this year’s meeting due to a foot injury. He explained the commitment of the Institute to knowledge transfer activities, particularly those involving inter-disciplinary fields such as Risk.
Viktor explained that the Institute has recently developed excellent residential facilities which will allow for greater expansion of its activities, particularly relevant to its links with many institutions all over the world. The growth has already resulted in an increase in the number of researchers.
Further developments have occurred in the publishing activities of WIT Press, the associate arm of the Institute, which is now becoming more digitally orientated. This will result in the publications of WIT being more readily available. The most successful of these activities has been the e.Library, containing the papers presented at WIT conferences, which is consulted by an ever increasing number of researchers.
Viktor concluded his opening remarks by stressing WIT’s commitment to international partnerships and joint research projects. He hoped that the participants would consider visiting the Institute (WIT Campus) in the near future to discuss possible ways of working together.
Finally, a welcome address was delivered by Mr Dionysios Georgatos, the Prefect of Cephalonia and Ithaca who explained the efforts of the Prefecture of Cephalonia and Ithaca in resolving local environmental issues.
The papers presented at the conference covered a wide range of topics, grouped into the following sections:
- Estimation of risk
- Geomorphologic risk
- Risk management
- Transportation safety
- Safe ship operations
- Risk assessment
- Risk Analysis
There was a series of invited papers presented by well-known colleagues:
- Modelling the growth of pseudomonos in poultry under variable temperature conditions, V. Popov, Wessex Institute of Technology, UK
- Seismic risk assessment of the rural road network, S. Cafiso, University of Catania, Italy
- Modelling of the node immunity change process in a network system, E. Uspuras, Lithuanian Energy Institute, Lithuania
- Vulnerability to torrent processes, S. Fuchs, University of Natural Resources & Applied Life Science, Austria
- Optimal and game ship control algorithms for avoiding collisions at sea, J. Lisowski, Gdynia Maritime University, Poland
- Occurrence neighbourhoods and risk assessment from landslide hazard in northern Spain, A.G. Fabbri, SPINlab Vrije Universiteit, The Netherlands
- Using statistical analysis to mitigate risk in environmental programs, K. Tiedemann, BC Hydro, Canada
- Remote sensing satellite imagery and risk management: image based information extraction, G. Bitelli, University of Bologna, Italy
Mr. Elias Toumasatos, the Director of the library at Cephalonia gave a lecture on the history of the island. This was also a nice introduction to the technical excursion that took place the following day.
The technical excursion included the famous Katavothres (shallow holes) near the entrance to Argostoli’s natural harbour. A tracer experiment has shown that the water travels 15 kilometres upground through rifts in the limestone before appearing at springs in the other side of the island. The other places visited were the beautiful Myrtos Bay, the underground Melissani Lake which is partially open due to collapse of part of the ceiling, and the village of Aghia Efimia, where some of the water from Katavothres appears.
The conference banquet took place at the Mediteranee Hotel, where the conference was held. The evening was delightful and evidence was clear of the links among the participants at Risk Analysis 2008.
Late Paper Submission
The International Scientific Advisory Committee meeting took place during the first evening of the conference to discuss the contents of the meeting and, in particular, to make some suggestions for the next conference in the series, which will take place in 2010. The Committee revised the list of topics presented at the meeting and suggested new ones, as well as a new grouping of them.
A list of new members of the Committee was discussed and several locations for the 2010 meeting were suggested. The general view was that the meeting ought to emphasise new applications of risk analysis, including urban risk, tourism, transportation and health risk, among others.
Publication of Papers
Papers from the conference willl also be hosted online in the WIT eLibrary as volume 39 of WIT Transactions on Information and Communications Technology (ISSN: 1743-3517). For more details visit the WIT eLibrary at: library.witpress.com