MAEviz: Bridging the time-from-discovery gap between seismic research and decision making

Shawn D. Hampton, Jong Sung Lee, Nathan L. Tolbert, Terrence M. McLaren, Christopher M. Navarro, James D. Myers, B. F. Spencer, Amr S. Elnashai

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations


MAEviz is an open-source project that helps reduce the time from discovery gap that exists between researchers, practitioners, and decision makers by integrating the latest research findings, most accurate data, and new methodologies into a single software product. MAEviz was developed as a platform to perform seismic risk assessment based on the Mid-America Earthquake (MAE) Center1 research in the Consequence-based Risk Management (CRM) framework [1]. The CRM framework is designed to evaluate loss assessment and alternatives with the goal of reducing losses to an acceptable level. The CRM paradigm provides a philosophical and practical framework for the assessment of the dynamic interdisciplinary relationship between causes, effects, and effect mitigation for major events and disaster management. MAEviz provides the medium where "what if" models and risk reduction strategies can be evaluated by both researchers and decision makers in an effort to avoid a catastrophic impact on society in the event of an earthquake. MAEviz is built upon an open source, extensible software platform developed at NCSA using the Eclipse Rich Client Platform (RCP)2. Both MAEviz and the underlying platform are designed to be open and extensible so cost can be shared across multiple, diverse communities. RCP supports the core user interface functionality of window and widget management in a cross-platform package that is robust and well supported. Built upon RCP, the base platform provides core functionality required by a variety of scientific communities. An extensible, semantic-aware analysis engine provides the ability to include and deploy the results of research done by scientists across the world. Geographic information system (GIS) capabilities include visualization in both 2D and 3D views. This open architecture shown in Figure 1 currently allows MAEviz to support different analysis types, attenuation algorithms, inventory types, and fragilities. The architecture is also designed for the possibility of supporting multiple hazards like ground motion or wind or water. In the poster, we will focus on the architecture of MAEviz as described above, as well as present an example of a seismic risk analysis, one of the 48 available analyses which range from earthquake engineering to socio-economic analyses. The example analysis shown in the poster is Network-Based Seismic Retrofit (NBSR) analysis [2]. The analysis solves a typical problem faced by decision makers that, given a fixed budget, which combination of bridges and retrofit methods would minimize the societal cost of an earthquake. The NBSR analysis measures this cost by determining the total system travel time (TSTT), which is defined as the sum of the travel time spent by all travelers in the system. TSTT is currently computed by either a static or a dynamic traffic assignment model, which assigns traffic flows on each link. The major difference of the dynamic model from the static model is that the dynamic model deals with time-varying traffic flows, while the static model does not. This analysis is particularly interesting in two ways. First, it requires many other analyses as input, (e.g. hazard creation, bridge damage, and bridge retrofit cost estimation) and therefore shows how MAEviz can allow independently developed analyses to seamlessly work together. It also clearly shows how new science can be put quickly into the hands of the decision makers, thus bridging the gap between research and practical application. The poster will depict the user interface of MAEviz, showing the interface for data entry, as well as a map view (2D and 3D), chart view and table view of results. In particular, the work flow diagram will be shown, which shows the dependencies of the analysis on other analyses. In addition, the poster will include the overview of MAEviz, list of all available analyses, and a list of open source libraries used in MAEviz. Thus, we will show that MAEviz is a powerful tool that can currently be used to assist decision makers in preparing for and mitigating the consequences of seismic hazards. Moreover, the extensible architecture of MAEviz allows it to be easily adapted to integrate newly discovered science and data, both in the area of seismic risk assessment, as well as other future research areas.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 4th IEEE International Conference on eScience, eScience 2008
Number of pages2
StatePublished - 2008
Event4th IEEE International Conference on eScience, eScience 2008 - Indianapolis, IN, United States
Duration: Dec 7 2008Dec 12 2008

Publication series

NameProceedings - 4th IEEE International Conference on eScience, eScience 2008


Other4th IEEE International Conference on eScience, eScience 2008
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityIndianapolis, IN

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software


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