Optimization Models and Algorithms for Vulnerability Analysis and Mitigation Planning of Pyro-Terrorism
AdvisorMedal, Hugh R.
Eksioglu, Sandra D.
In this dissertation, an important homeland security problem is studied. With the focus on wildfire and pyro-terrorism management. We begin the dissertation by studying the vulnerability of landscapes to pyro-terrorism. We develop a maximal covering based optimization model to investigate the impact of a pyro-terror attack on landscapes based on the ignition locations of fires. We use three test case landscapes for experimentation. We compare the impact of a pyro-terror wildfire with the impacts of naturally-caused wildfires with randomly located ignition points. Our results indicate that a pyro-terror attack, on average, has more than twice the impact on landscapes than wildfires with randomly located ignition points. In the next chapter, we develop a Stackelberg game model, a min-max network interdiction framework that identifies a fuel management schedule that, with limited budget, maximally mitigates the impact of a pyro-terror attack. We develop a decomposition algorithm called MinMaxDA to solve the model for three test case landscapes, located in Western U.S. Our results indicate that fuel management, even when conducted on a small scale (when 2% of a landscape is treated), can mitigate a pyro-terror attack by 14%, on average, comparing to doing nothing. For a fuel management plan with 5%, and 10% budget, it can reduce the damage by 27% and 43% on average. Finally, we extend our study to the problem of suppression response after a pyro-terror attack. We develop a max-min model to identify the vulnerability of initial attack resources when used to fight a pyro-terror attack. We use a test case landscape for experimentation and develop a decomposition algorithm called Bounded Decomposition Algorithm (BDA) to solve the problem since the model has bilevel max-min structure with binary variables in the lower level and therefore not solvable by conventional methods. Our results indicate that although pyro-terror attacks with one ignition point can be controlled with an initial attack, pyro-terror attacks with two and more ignition points may not be controlled by initial attack. Also, a faster response is more promising in controlling pyro-terror fires.