NOVA School of Science and Technology applies Artificial Intelligence to analyze urban fires


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The NOVA School of Science and Technology presented, on the morning of February 6, the research project AI-4-MUFF, 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 to create a new tool that allows more effective management of public administration resources.

The project on urban fires is led by the NOVA School of Science and Technology, with two research units involved: the UNIDEMI and the Center for Mathematics and Applications - CMA. Partners in the project are the University of Coimbra and the National Authority for Emergency and Civil Protection (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 simulation environment (Agentbased 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.