Reports and Papers

Fedra, K. (1997)
Integrated Risk Assessment and Management: Overview and State-of-the-Art. p3-18. In: Ale, B.J.M, Janssen, M.P.M., and Pruppers, M.J.M [eds] Risk 97 Book of Papers. Proceeding of the International Conference Mapping Environmental Risks and Risk Comparison, Amsterdam, 21-24 October 1997. RIVM, Bilthoven.
On-line paper


Risk assessment and management includes both spatially distributed, as well as dynamic problems. While geographic information systems provide powerful tools for spatial analysis, their capabilities for complex, and dynamic analysis are limited. Traditional simulation models, on the other hand, are powerful tools for complex and dynamic situations, but often lack the intuitive visualization and spatial analysis functions that the GIS offers. Obviously, the integration of GIS and simulation models, together with the necessary databases and expert systems, within a common and interactive graphical user interface should make for more powerful and easy to use - and understand - risk information systems.

More than ten years ago, starting in 1986, these ideas were first implemented in a series of projects involving IIASA, Delft Hydraulics, the JRC, VROM, and the RIVM. The still ongoing XENVIS project (developing a risk information system for the Netherlands) provides a unique opportunity to review some basic and emerging concepts of integrated risk assessment. Based on a dedicated GIS as the central tool and user interface, databases of hazardous installations and hazardous chemicals are linked in a hypertext structure. They include tools for spatial risk assessment based on externally generated risk contours, and links to models describing accidental and continuous atmospheric releases, spills into surface water systems, and transportation risk analysis. All the models used are fully georeferenced and integrated with the underlying GIS layer, and include an embedded rule-based expert system to help with model input specification, and the interpretation of model results. Model results take the form of interactive graphics and animated topical maps for an intuitive understanding, and a more efficient interactive analysis.

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