This multi-disciplinary research project examines agent-based modeling as a decision support tool for better informing responses to extreme events, with a focus on bushfires.
Narrators: Professor Lin Padgham, Professor in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and IT, RMIT University; Lalitha Ramachandran, Senior Project Manager Sustainability, City of Port Philip; Dr Dhirendra Singh, Research Fellow, School of Computer Science and IT, RMIT University; Alice Godycki, Manager, Regional Community Resilience, Victoria State Emergency Service.
VISUAL: Agent of Change. RMIT is working with the Victoria State Emergency Services and Port Phillip Council on emergency management during extreme weather events. RMIT University logo.
VISUAL: Professor Lin Padgham speaking to camera. The title at the bottom of the screen has the RMIT logo and reads: Prof Lin Padgham, Professor in Artificial Intelligence, Computer Science and IT, RMIT University.
Lin Padgham: Agent based simulation is often used for things like looking at traffic flow and traffic management or evacuation scenarios.
VISUAL: Time lapse multiple fast transitioning video clips of traffic on different roads in Melbourne.
Lin Padgham: So it's very simple to model cars keeping a certain distance from each other or people following other people in a crowd ...
VISUAL: Professor Lin Padgham speaking to camera.
Lin Padgham: ... but the kind of behaviour you get in a ...
VISUAL: Video of Lin Padgham standing in front of a room beside an overhead screen with an image on it. Lin Padham is speaking to other members of the project (ie SES and City of Port Philip members) who are off screen. The image on the screen is of a video of a flooded street with cars driving through water, probably a foot deep.
Lin Padgham: ... flooding scenario or many of these scenarios, is much more complex than that. So one of the things that's really unique in the simulation work ...
VISUAL: Prof Lin Padgham sitting at a desk in an office beside Dr Dhirendra Singh who is typing on a laptop which is being projected up on to an overhead screen in the office. Lin Padgham looks at the laptop screen and then up at the screen on the office wall.
Lin Padgham: ... that the RMIT group does, is that we ...
VISUAL: Close up of the overhead screen at the front of a darkened room. The image on the overhead screen is of a map of Elwood, a suburb in the City of Port Philip with blue highlights possibly showing flood areas. The three sections of yellow squares (two above the canal and one below) are houses, the subject of the simulation. There are also a few red dots on the map but typist is unaware of what they represent. Dots move along the roads represent people moving around the town between the subject houses.
Lin Padgham: ... focus a lot on cognitive agents rather than simple agents.
VISUAL: Lalitha Ramachandran speaking to the camera. The title at the bottom of the screen with the RMIT logo reads: Lalitha Ramachandran, Senior Project Manager Sustainability, City of Port Philip.
Lalitha Ramachandran: We're built on former swampland and reclaimed land, so we're prone to flooding ...
VISUAL: Video of Elwood Canal in City of Port Philip with a few houses and trees on the other side of the canal. The camera is standing on the opposite bank of the canal.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... and we're now starting to look at what that might mean when we combine it ...
VISUAL: Video of Elwood Canal in City of Port Phillip, camera is standing in centre of canal looking down it with houses and trees along both the banks to the left and to the right of the screen.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... with future climate change elements such as sea level rise.
VISUAL: ?Dr Dhirendra Singh speaking to the camera. The title at the bottom of the screen with the RMIT logo reads: Dr Dhirendra Singh, Research Fellow, School of Computer Science and IT, RMIT University.
Dhirendra Singh: ?So we're working with the City of Port Phillip and the SES and the aim is to try and use technology ...
VISUAL: Video as camera pans across courtyard and statue in front of St Kilda Town Hall which is in the background and to the left of the screen is the City of Port Phillip Council’s civic building.
Dhirendra Singh: ... like agent based simulation to try and understand ...
VISUAL: Video of Prof Lin Padgham, Dr Dhirendra Singh and other colleagues who are attending the meeting walking through the entrance doors into the City of Port Phillip’s Council building. The sign on the glass door to the right of the entrance reds: Welcome to the City of Port Phillip with the logo on the right; the Opening hours and a temporary sign for a Council Meeting.
Dhirendra Singh: ... how people respond to the flooding events and then ...
VISUAL: Video of meeting held at Council with representatives from the collaborative groups involved in the project sitting around the table: Dr Dhirendra Singh and unidentified male sit on one side of the table and Lalitha Ramachandran (City of Port Philip) and Alice Godycki (SES) are sitting opposite them. There is another unidentified female sitting in the foreground at the end of the table with her back to the camera. Dr Singh is speaking and the others are looking at him, listening and looking through the paperwork in front of them. There is an overhead screen in the background with an image of the area of St Kilda Council with purple shading on it.
Dhirendra Singh: ... try and capture this into a simulation and then try and inform policy and planning around that.
VISUAL: Alice Godycki speaking to camera. The title at the bottom of the screen with the RMIT logo reads: Alice Godycki, Manager, Regional Community Resilience, Victoria State Emergency Service speaking to camera.
Alice Godycki: The RMIT research being undertaken will consolidate and utilize our data ...
VISUAL: Alice Godycki speaking at the meeting. Listening to her, in the foreground is Lalitha Ramachandran and in the background is an unidentified female colleague.
Alice Godycki: ... and our flood maps and allow us to ...
VISUAL: Dr Dhirendra Singh speaking at the meeting and pointing and looking up off screen (towards the overhead screen which is off screen). In the background, at the end of the table are two unidentified female colleagues and in the foreground is the unidentified male colleague.
Alice Godycki: ... identify what are those ...
VISUAL: Dr Dhirendra Singh sitting beside the unidentified male colleague who is speaking during the same meeting. The unidentified male is moving the mouse of his laptop (which is plugged in to the overhead screen which is off screen) and they are both looking up at the overhead screen (off screen).
Alice Godycki: ... real issues in the Elwood Canal and, I guess, practically ...
VISUAL: Alice Godycki speaking to camera.
Alice Godycki: ... apply that and work with the community better.
VISUAL: Professor Lin Padgham speaking to camera.
Lin Padgham: So the project is funded by the National Climate Change Adaptation Framework under their ...
VISUAL: Video of Professor Lin Padgham speaking at the same meeting with City of Port Philip and SES representativers (who are off screen) and standing beside an overhead screen with a tree diagram on it. The heading of the diagram reads: A stay at home parent in Elwood, with school age children, pets at home and an employed spouse. There are four levels to the tree diagram but typist is unable to read the detail. The RMIT University logo is also at the bottom of the overhead screen.
Lin Padgham: ... emergency management program. In Elwood, we're looking at ...
VISUAL: Dr Dhirendra Singh sitting at a table with a laptop in front of him and speaking to someone who is off screen, possibly Prof Lin Padgham.
Lin Padgham: ... whether sandbagging might help in mitigating the effects of flooding.
VISUAL: Dr Dhirendra Singh writing on whiteboard and Professor Lin Padgham standing beside him looking at the whiteboard as he writes.
Lin Padgham: So we're looking at well, would sandbagging depots help? Is there enough warning time or ...
VISUAL: Professor Lin Padgham writing on whiteboard, camera is very close, almost side on to the whiteboard.
Lin Padgham: ... is there likely to be enough warning time? How many depots would you need? How many houses would you save? That sort of thing.
VISUAL: Darkened room with projected screen with image from computer screen on it of the flood simulation on areas of Elwood. The two people sitting at the table to the side of the screen possibly are Prof Lin Padgham and Dr Dhirendra Singh.
Dr Dhirendra Singh: When you're looking at the simulation, you've got the ...
VISUAL: Video close up of computer screen simulation with outlined map of Elwood’s streets, the canal is shown in blue. There are three yellow squares which represent a house on the map, two are north of the canal and one is south of it. To start with each of the three houses have the number 0 (zero) inside each house. A couple of yellow dots move around the lines ie streets towards and into the top house. As the dots enter the house the number on the house increases to 3. Then as the yellow dots (people) depart from the house the number decreases: 3 then 2, then 1, then 0 again.
Dr Dhirendra Singh: ... map of Elwood so you can see dots that go around, they are the people who are driving, and they change colour based on what ...
VISUAL: Same image as previous of the map of Elwood with the yellow houses, travelling dots (people) and the Elwood Canal. But now bright purple areas are highlighted to show flood areas around parts of Elwood and all over the Canal. There are also a few small red dots on the map (typist is unsure of what they represent). Also the yellow dots (people) continue to move down the streets and enter and exit the other two yellow houses increasing and decreasing the number on the house (up to 6 for the other house north of the canal and the house south of the canal goes up to 2) as they come and go.
Dr Dhirendra Singh: ... they’re doing so ideally you can imagine a system where you can just plug in any suburb and any sort of behaviours and be able to do similar analysis.
VISUAL: Lalitha Ramachandran speaking to camera.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ?The reason why this is useful for us, and it's useful all around, is the results of something like that ...
VISUAL: Video of Dr Singh listening to a speaker who is off screen during the meeting with City of Port Philip and SES members. The unidentified male is sitting beside him and listening in the foreground and an unidentified female is sitting at the end of the table behind Dr Singh listening and smiling at the off screen speaker.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... we can communicate very well ...
VISUAL: Video of Lalitha Ramachandran speaking at the same meeting, camera is side on to her.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... with the community if it's a simulation tool, it allows ...
VISUAL: Prof Lin Padgham standing at the front of the room and speaking to the group who are off screen.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... demonstration easily, it allows people to comprehend and ...
VISUAL: Lalitha Ramachandran speaking to camera.
Lalitha Ramachandran: ... arrive at a starting point for dialogue at a much more level playing field.
VISUAL: Professor Lin Padgham speaking to camera and smiling at the end.
Lin Padgham: This technology is extremely general and there's many, many applications in climate change adaptation, in emergency management, in a whole range of areas, because really, it's the technology that we're working on and then applying it to things and it's a very, very powerful technology.
VISUAL: Dr Dhirendra Singh speaking to camera and smiling.
Dr Dhirendra Singh: It's really good to see technology and IT being used in other domains and I think that's where the real value is for technology, really, is to help people do things.
VISUAL: An RMIT project funded by NCCARF in collaboration with the Victoria State Emergency Service and City of Port Phillip Council. Left to right across the screen are the logos for NCCARF (National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility), SES and City of Port Phillip; then underneath that is the RMIT University logo.
VISUAL: RMIT University logo and website: www.rmit.edua.au.
[End of video]
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The project is being developed in close partnership with key stakeholders in Victoria's emergency services sector.
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