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Abstract

We present a synthetic information and modeling environment that can allow policy makers to study various counter-factual experiments in the event of a large human-initiated crisis. The specific scenario we consider is a ground detonation caused by an improvised nuclear device in a large urban region. In contrast to earlier work in this area that focuses largely on the prompt effects on human health and injury, we focus on co-evolution of individual and collective behavior and its interaction with the differentially damaged infrastructure. This allows us to study short term secondary and tertiary effects. The present environment is suitable for studying the dynamical outcomes over a two week period after the initial blast. A novel computing and data processing architecture is described; the architecture allows us to represent multiple co-evolving infrastructures and social networks at a highly resolved temporal, spatial, and individual scale. The representation allows us to study the emergent behavior of individuals as well as specific strategies to reduce casualties and injuries that exploit the spatial and temporal nature of the secondary and tertiary effects. A number of important conclusions are obtained using the modeling environment. For example, the studies decisively show that deploying ad hoc communication networks to reach individuals in the affected area is likely to have a significant impact on the overall casualties and injuries.

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