FCT NOVA applies Artificial Intelligence to analyze urban fires

The AI-4-MUFF research project analyzes urban fires to understand the phenomenon and allow better management of public administration resources.

Researchers will implement a new tool that could help to redistribute people and equipment or even define the best location for a fire station.

This morning FCT NOVA – Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, presented the AI-4-MUFF research project at the headquarters of the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC), in Carnaxide, with the mission of analyzing the phenomenon of urban fires through artificial intelligence and data science methodologies.

The objective is to develop research on this area and create a new tool that allows more effective management of public administration resources.

The project on urban fires is led by FCT NOVA, involving two research units: researchers from the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering – UNIDEMI; and the Center for Mathematics and Applications – CMA.

The researcher responsible for the project is the director of UNIDEMI, Professor António Grilo, with responsibilities shared with Professor João Paulo Rodrigues of the University of Coimbra. Among the partners is also the National Emergency and Civil Protection Authority (ANEPC).

According to ANEPC, there are no scientific studies that systematically analyze fires within cities or even that study the multiplicity of data collected in the last ten years.

In addition, ANEPC indicates that even with a large number of fire brigades in more populated regions, there is no guarantee of an efficient and equal intervention across the country.

Consequently, the main objective of the AI-4-MUFF research project is to develop a tool to support the ANEPC and local fire brigades to make more technically sound decisions, such as how to better distribute human resources and equipment, or even, how to define the best location for a fire station.

The Support System for the Strategic Decision to Combat Urban Fires, which will be developed by the AI-4-MUFF team of researchers, proposes a tool based only on empirical evidence, through the application of Machine Learning techniques, and the interconnection of the multi-objective optimization model and the agent-based model simulation.

The prototype of the Strategic Decision Support System for Combating Urban Fires will be tested in a real environment. Initially, in partnership with ANEPC, this tool will be implemented in a limited set of municipalities and pilot fire brigades.

FCT NOVA – Faculty of Science and Technology, Universidade Nova de Lisboa, is one of the main faculties of Engineering, Science and Technology in Portugal, recognized by the research centres and the employability of graduates, masters and doctors. In the Caparica area, the university campus is the largest in Europe, 15 minutes from the city of Lisbon, with 8500 students, 500 teachers, 1090 researchers, 1180 projects and 200 employees.

Founded in 1977, FCT NOVA is divided into 14 Departments and 16 Research Centers, offering 94 study cycles with all vacancies 100% filled. The faculty is recognized for its scientific production, with regular publications in the main magazines of the speciality and is the Portuguese teaching space with the highest concentration of CoLABs laboratories and European Research Council (ERC) scholarships. The result of this performance is the integration of the faculty in the prestigious network of technological universities CESAER and in consortia with European and US universities, from CMU to MIT.

In addition to the 15 hectares built, FCT NOVA will expand to the remaining 17 hectares, an expansion that included Madan Parque science and technology infrastructure. The expansion plans show that FCT NOVA is a future-oriented Science and Engineering school, always based on cutting edge international research.
More information on the FCT NOVA website.

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