ISME: Icon based system for managing emergencies

title: ISME: Icon based system for managing emergencies
author: Paul Schooneman
published in: January 2005
appeared as: Master of Science thesis
Man-machine interaction group
Delft University of Technology
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Since the terrorist attacks on 9/11 the issue about the collaboration of emergency services has become increasingly important. One of the conclusions is that better communication between the different services is needed. This motivated us to try a different modality for communication. The modality we have chosen is a graphical one, which is very useful when only a limited set of concepts need to be represented. This thesis describes how iconic communication can be applied to the field of Emergency Management.
We have designed and implemented a prototype application, ISME, which is suited for emergency services to communicate with each other, using a map and icons. Our main focus is on the graphical user interface, and the intelligence of the system. The system is designed as a client server application, where the client is focussed on the interface and the server concentrates on the intelligence. We use a Jess knowledge and rule base to provide a consistent world model at all times, while we represent the concepts in XML files. The interface and network is implemented in Java.
ISME gives the users the possibility to report about what they observe by placing icons on a map. The maps will be send to the server, which fuses the multiple observations and constructs a new world model of it. Besides the world model, the server also sends information about the most likely scenario, and it will suggest icons that are expected in the world model but are not placed yet.

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