Solving of Emergency Situations by Way of Business Processes
Tomáš Ludík and Jaroslav Ráček
Faculty of Informatics, Masaryk University, Botanická 68a, Brno, Czech Republic
Keywords: Emergency Management, Process Management, Process Framework, Process Methodology, Process
Architecture, Quality Assurance of Processes, Case Study.
Abstract: The paper deals with an effective solving of emergency situations by using the Process Management. Based
on current approaches, there is defined an innovative process framework for emergency management which
is described from the methodological and architecture view. The methodology describes the procedures how
to deploy processes of emergency management on the specific architecture based on emergency
management requirements. The overall quality assurance is ensured by continuous verification, validation
and optimization. The application of the process framework for emergency management is showed on a
case study, which describes an accident of a vehicle transporting dangerous goods. The case study illustrates
the deployment of emergency processes up to terrain case studies.
Emergency Management (EM) is a discipline that
involves preparing for a disaster before it happens,
disaster response, as well as supporting and
rebuilding the society after a natural or a human-
caused disaster occurs. In general, any EM is a
continuous process in which all individuals, groups
and communities manage hazards in an effort to
avoid or ameliorate the impact of disasters resulting
from the hazards (Mak et al., 1999; Rüppel and
Wagenknecht, 2007).
Process Management (PM) is a field of
combining management and technology focused on
aligning organizations with the requirements and
needs of clients (Kubíček et al., 2010; Vondrák,
2008). It is a complex management approach that
promotes business effectiveness and efficiency while
striving for innovation, flexibility, and integration
with technology (Jain and McLean, 2003). PM
attempts to improve processes continuously. It could
therefore be described as a process optimization
1.1 Principles of Emergency
The nature of emergencies means that all levels of
government (federal, state, regional or local) and all
sectors of society are responsible for dealing
withthem (Diehl et al., 2006). There generally exists
a Bottom Up approach for requests for resources
support that travel upward until appropriate
resources are ensured and the incident stabilised.
Each country has different legislation, procedures
and obligatory documents to be followed within the
EM process (Mak et al., 1999).
Coordination of Activities within the Emergency
Management System is done at three levels,
Tactical, Operational and Strategic, and is
corresponding with the generic conclusion defined
by Orchestra (Klopfer and Kanellopoulos, 2008).
The Strategic Level of the Rescue and
Liquidation Works (RaLW) management is realised
by standing or temporary coordinating authorities of
the administration, region commissioners and
Ministry of Interior – General Management of the
Czech Republic Fire Rescue Corps.
On the Operational Level, permanent
coordination and cooperation within and between
individual Integrated Rescue System (IRS)
components takes place; this includes operational
centres of the basic IRS components (Fire Rescue
Corps, Police and Medical Rescue Service) and
dispatching centres, standing services, and oversight
centres of distributive and emergency services.
The Tactical Level includes activity coordination
at the place of intervention and cooperation of IRS
components. The intervention commander proclaims
the appropriate Level of Alert, which predetermines
Ludík T. and Rá
cek J..
PROCESS FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - Solving of Emergency Situations by Way of Business Processes.
DOI: 10.5220/0003459401170122
In Proceedings of the 6th International Conference on Software and Database Technologies (ICSOFT-2011), pages 117-122
ISBN: 978-989-8425-77-5
2011 SCITEPRESS (Science and Technology Publications, Lda.)
the needs of the Forces and Means for the RaLW.
He or she also follows the document Model Action
Activities of the IRS Components at the Common
1.2 Principles of Process Management
Nowadays, there are two significant streams in the
field of Process Management: i.e. Business Process
Management presented by Object Management
Group (OMG) and Workflow Management, which
was originally created by Workflow Management
Coalition (WfMC).
Business Process Management (BPM) is based
on the observation that each product that a company
gets to the market is the result of a number of
performed activities (Weske, 2007). Business
processes are the key instruments to organize these
activities and to improve the understanding of their
interrelationships. Information technology deserves
an important role in business process management,
because more and more activities that a company
performs are supported by it (Rüppel and
Wagenknecht, 2007). Business process activities can
be performed manually or with a help of information
systems (Sell and Braun, 2009). BPM activities can
in general be grouped into five categories (phases):
Design, Modelling, Execution, Monitoring, and
Workflow Management is built on architectural
representation of a workflow management system
called Workflow Reference Model, that is developed
by WfMC. It identifies the most important system
interfaces, covering broadly five areas of
functionality between a workflow management
system and its environment (Hollingsworth, 2004).
Process Management and Business Processes are
generally used to solve issues related to EM
(Kubíček et al., 2010; Sell and Braun, 2009;
Vondrák, 2008). The aim of this paper is to define
Process Framework for Emergency Management,
which allows more effective and complex process
support for EM. During the deployment of processes
there is also necessary to guarantee their overall
quality (Jain and McLean, 2003). Hence the paper
describes methods to assure quality of processes, i.e.
verification and validation (Sargent, 2005).
Continuous improvement of processes by process
optimization is also very important (Rüppel and
Wagenknecht, 2007). Practical use of the Process
framework, together with methods of process quality
assurance is illustrated on the case study that
describes an accident of a vehicle transporting
dangerous goods.
Process Framework for EM is a new progressive
view on process support of organizations in the
private and public sector. It is created for the
purpose of better understanding of issues that are
connected with process deployment in the specific
area of interest. The model covers not only process
related issues, but also issues related to emergency
management. Deep analysis of current solutions and
approaches (Klopfer and Kanellopoulos, 2008;
Ludík and Ráček, 2011; Sell and Braun, 2009)
shows, that just this unifying view on process
deployment is missing. Despite the fact, that the
model is focused on the emergency area issues, the
idea of creating a process framework is general and
could be used also in other areas of expertise, where
a complex and global view on the area of interest is
needed. The general purpose of the model is given
by two main views on the process issues, which are
Methodology view and the global Architecture view.
2.1 Methodology
The first view is created by process oriented
methodology. The main goal is to continuously
improve process, which is the same idea as Deming
cycle. This view is based on the Business Process
Management life-cycle (Weske, 2007). In order to
talk about process-oriented methodology, it is
necessary to meet certain characteristics. The
methodology consists of five basic phases, where
every phase is further process decomposed. Namely
there are these phases: Defining, Modelling,
Configuration, Execution/Monitoring, and
Optimization. The methodology contains user roles,
which are necessary for correct progress of the
process and the roles show responsibilities for the
particular processes (Ludík and Ráček, 2011). The
roles are not just the ones focused on the ICT view
of process deployment but there are also roles for
EM. The next essential part of created methodology
are individual work products, either input or output.
Some of these artefacts are included into the process
framework. There are primary phases like Defining,
Modelling, Configuration and Monitoring.
Executing and Optimization phases are described
from a different point of view. Process execution is
analysed from the view of tools that are needed for
execution of modelled process instances. On the
other hand the optimization phase is focused on
techniques and options of process reengineering.
The Fig. 1 shows on the left side the general process
ICSOFT 2011 - 6th International Conference on Software and Data Technologies
Figure 1: Process Framework for Emergency Management.
oriented methodology.
2.2 Architecture
The second part of the process model is created by
process oriented architecture. It is based on WfMC
principles and primarily focused on software tools
required for process deployment into organisations.
The major task is to define suitable interfaces for
communication among individual components of
architecture (Hollingsworth, 2004). The architecture
view is situated on the right side of the process
framework. The main parts of the system are
described from the view of software tools or
hardware components use. Particularly that are parts
like Workflow enchantment service, Client
Application and Invoked application. The view is
completed with issues of emergency management
and because of this the model contains also
components like Map Server, Metainformation
Catalogue and various hardware devices or user
interfaces that are necessary to manage specific
crisis situations (Kozel, 2007). The architecture view
guarantees that outputs from individual phases of the
methodology meet certain criteria and standards to
use them in the next phase. The aim of the view is to
create a global architecture that will serve as the
essentials for modelled process instances
deployment so that these instances could cooperate
with other services and tools within clearly defined
2.3 Unifying View
The Fig. 1 shows, that each of this two views covers
another part of the spectrum needed for depth
process analysis used in the emergency
management. In some parts of the model there
should be given more emphasis on the procedures
and defined processes arising from the legislation
and methodologies related to crisis management
(Optimization and Defining). The process’
architecture and clearly defined interfaces among the
components are important to enable fast and
effective communication among them (Client
Applications, Invoked Applications, Other
Workflow Enactment Service). The created process
framework for EM contains also parts, where the
methodology and architecture views overlap. In
these parts, both views have to be taken into account
to better understand the research issues. Especially it
is very important in the Modelling and
Configuration phase of the methodology to
determine how the modelling process will proceed
(Weske, 2007). On the other hand, software tools are
also very important. The main advantage of this
approach is independence on particular software
modelling tools. It is often necessary to use various
software tools and combine them, whether for
modelling, simulation or even possible optimization
(Kubíček et al., 2010). It is obvious that the resulting
interoperability between used tools plays a key role.
PROCESS FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - Solving of Emergency Situations by Way of Business
Figure 2: The process map of Organisation of Intervention.
2.4 Quality Assurance
The Process Framework for EM provides guidance
on how the processes can be effectively deployed in
the field of emergency management. Application of
the process framework shows that ensuring the
overall quality of the modelled processes must be an
integral part of the framework. For this purpose, the
techniques of verification, validation, and
optimization of the processes are used as well as
case studies in the real environment (Reijers, 2003;
Sargent, 2005).
Verification and validation (Sargent, 2005)
enable continuous monitoring and testing of any
software projects. Therefore, it is useful to apply
them in the automation of emergency management
processes. From the view of the process framework
for emergency management it is appropriate to use
verification and validation in the first three phases of
Process Oriented Methodology. The phases are
called: Defining, Modelling and Configuration.
To keep the competitive advantage it is not
enough to deploy business processes but also to
monitor and optimize them continuously. Process
optimization is a discipline of adjusting a process so
as to optimize some specified set of parameters
without violating any constraints. The most common
goals are minimizing costs and maximizing
throughput and efficiency. This leads to a long-term
sustainability. Continuous improvement is therefore
crucial. Processes can be improved not only in the
Optimization phase but also in the Defining,
Modelling or Monitoring phase.
This paper focuses on the tactical level of
cooperation – activity of the intervention
commander and decision-making support during the
organisation of intervention in the model situation
called Accident of a vehicle transporting dangerous
goods. The principal aim of this research is a cross-
connection of process modelling and adaptive
visualisation in the field of emergency management.
The proposed solution is targeted on support of the
intervention commander activities during the
response phase of the accident of a vehicle with
dangerous goods.
3.1 Process Support of the Intervention
The event Accident of a vehicle transporting
dangerous goods can be seen in complex view
represented by the UML (Unified Modelling
Language) Use Case Diagram. It is a basic view of
the defining phase of process framework. The main
purpose of the Use Case Diagram is to find and
document modelled business requirements. Created
diagram is verified and approved by user’s
validation. This model is also applicable for EM in
other countries, but other actors and use cases would
probably be administered (Diehl et al., 2006). The
border of the modelled system is defined by the
Czech Fire and Rescue Act. By analysing the
activities within the event, an actor list is created
containing different roles that are assigned to
persons or subjects that use the modelled system.
Having understood the roles of the individual actors,
it is possible to start to design the Use Cases. The
external review of final Use Cases is necessary.
The Use Case is perceived as the specification of
the activities sequence that the system or subsystem
can execute through interacting with external actors.
Each use case can be specified by a process map
(Fiala and Ministr, 2007) incorporating and defining
the activity sequences in the particular directives
(the modelling phase of process framework). A
process is a set of activities arranged in parts. It
creates in a repeatable way required output from one
or more inputs. To illustrate a process map, the use
case called Organisation of Intervention is
elaborated. This directive controlled by the
intervention commander consists of ten activities
illustrated in the process map in Fig. 2. In this way,
the process maps of organisation of intervention are
created. Subsequently the modelled processes are
ICSOFT 2011 - 6th International Conference on Software and Data Technologies
simulated. The simulation reveals bottlenecks and
inconsistences. Based on the results the processes
are optimized.
During the configuration phase of process
framework all modelled processes (process maps)
are transformed to the Business Process Execution
Language (BPEL), where the individual process
activities are assigned to the required
geoinformation. Within the activities of the
intervention commander, it is possible to identify
specific tasks that are more or less spatially
dependent and thus require geoinformation support.
To determine what and how to visualise, it is
necessary to decide what parameters will determine
the context in which geographic information will be
used. In order to simplify the application of process
framework for emergency management, the
following parameters were selected to define the
context: USER – member of Fire Rescue Corps,
ACTION – organising of intervention, SITUATION
– accident of a vehicle with dangerous goods,
DEVICE – TabletPC. Broadly, ACTION and
SITUATION determine the knowledge that is
needed for decision-making and thus what to
visualise. USER and DEVICE specify how to
visualise this data, i.e. set the visualisation criteria.
The process formalisation in the BPEL form
specifies which geoinformation are supposed to be
used and finds an appropriate way to visualize them.
The so-called context specific map is used for this
purpose and is visualised over the background of a
topographic base. This BASETOPO is a set of
topographic features that can be reused in other
contexts. The BASETOPO is defined at several
scales – in the application of process framework, the
use of BASETOPO in large-to-middle scale is
3.2 Terrain Case Studies
The case study was led by the researchers of the
research plan Dynamic Geovisualisation in Crises
Management and represents business processes
deployment and their execution and monitoring
according to the process framework. The case study
was focused on monitoring processes and testing
Contextual Web Map Service (CWMS) and also
technologies for vehicle tracking in a real situation
(Kozel, 2007), namely during a response phase.
During the case study the CWMS client was
deployed into the complex system that provided
support for a fast response to a crisis situation
(Palas, 2010). The system is showed in Fig. 3.
Each vehicle transporting dangerous substances
carries a GPS receiver with an accident sensor and a
GPRS transmitter. All the time the vehicle is
moving, it sends its position in regular intervals via
GPRS to the database that contains positions of all
vehicles. When an accident happens, a signal
alerting the accident is sent to the server which
handles incoming accident signals. A simple PHP
script constantly runs on the server. When a signal
of a new accident is received, the script obtains the
current position of the crashed vehicle from the
vehicle-position database.
Figure 3: Deployment of the CWMS Client.
Furthermore, the script generates an URL of the
CWMS client where location and context of the
accident in parameters are encoded. Such a CWMS
client’s URL is immediately sent to an operational
centre of IRS and consequently to on-scene
responders for the accident via email. Having
received an email informing about the accident, a
man in charge clicks the link and the CWMS client
opens up in a web browser, showing the accident in
the proper context (Bártek et al., 2010).
Regardless of the device, the CWMS client
requests deserved map for the current situation from
the Map-Server via CWMS. Map-Server
immediately requests required spatial data from
Laboratory on Geoinformatics and Cartography
(LGC) WMS Server or Cenia WMS Server and
builds the deserved contextual map which is sent to
the CWMS client afterwards.
Spatial data for contextual maps including
positions of tracked vehicles are provided by LGC
WMS Server, which obtains them from the PostGIS
database via SQL. Cenia WMS Server provides just
aerial photos which might be required for several
contextual maps. Based on the terrain case study
results the complex optimization of the processes
PROCESS FRAMEWORK FOR EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT - Solving of Emergency Situations by Way of Business
according to the process framework is available.
The paper introduces a new perspective for the
process analysis and deployment named Process
Framework for EM. A model showed the issue of
processes in two perspectives, both in terms of
process-oriented methodology and in terms of
process architecture. The designed model covers the
issues of crisis management, which makes the
benefits of bridging the two different views even
more transparent. The created model is a supplement
with specifics for crisis management and is therefore
accessible not only to users of IT but also in
emergency management.
The functionality of the Process Framework is
guaranteed by continuous verification, validation
and optimization of emergency processes.
Applicability of the solution is also guaranteed by
the terrain case study that simulates the progress of
typical activities of IRS that describe the Accident of
a vehicle transporting dangerous goods in the real
To complete the Process Framework, it is
necessary to create and describe a process-oriented
methodology, which will define actions for the
support of processes in crisis management. The
second part consists of hardware and software
analysis. It is also necessary to define interfaces
between components. The use of standards in this
area considerably eases the demands for
interoperability. Functionality and efficiency of
established methodology and architecture will be
validated by case studies. Up to this point the
proposed Process Framework will be considered
final and it can be deployed in practice.
The contribution is part of the research plan no.
MSM0021622418 and the research project no.
FRVS/1035/2011, both supported by the Czech
Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.
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