Testing the impact of direct and indirect flood warnings on population behaviour using an agent-based model

Thomas O'Shea, Paul Bates, Jeffrey Neal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
232 Downloads (Pure)


This paper uses a coupled hydrodynamic agent-based model (HABM) to investigate the effect of direct or indirect warnings in flood incident response. This model uses the LISFLOOD-FP hydrodynamic model and the NetLogo agent-based framework and is applied to the 2005 flood event in Carlisle, UK. The hydrodynamic model provides a realistic simulation of detailed flood dynamics through the event, whilst the agent-based model component enables simulation and analysis of the complex, in-event social response. NetLogo enables alternative probabilistic daily routine and agent choice scenarios for the individuals of Carlisle to be simulated in a coupled fashion with the flood inundation. Specifically, experiments are conducted using a novel “enhanced social modelling component” based on the Bass diffusion model. From the analysis of these simulations, management stress points (predictable or otherwise) can be presented to those responsible for hazard management and post-event recovery. The results within this paper suggest that these stress points can be present, or amplified, due to a lack of preparedness or a lack of phased evacuation measures. Furthermore, the methods outlined here have the potential for application elsewhere to reduce the complexity and improve the effectiveness of flood incident management. The paper demonstrates the influence that emergent properties have on systematic vulnerability and risk from natural hazards in coupled socio-environmental systems.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2281-2305
Number of pages25
JournalNatural Hazards and Earth System Sciences
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 20 Aug 2020


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