Paper accepted by Scientific Reports

Following on several recent publications successes, this week we received notification that another major output from the RISER team had been accepted to a top journal:

Published by the Nature Publishing Group, Scientific Reports is both high quality and high impact with a a 2014 impact factor of 5.578. Scientific Reports is ranked in the top 10% of all journals in the world and 4th in the world in the “multidisciplinary” category (after Nature, Science, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, see SJR, Scimago Journal Ranking,

The paper develops and tests our method for automatically tracking firefront locations based on data from the Victorian IMS (incident management system), made publically available through the CFA RSS feed.

The abstract for the accepted paper best summarizes the key contributions of the research.

“Real-time information about the spatial extents of evolving natural disasters, such as wildfire or flood perimeters, can assist both emergency responders and the general public during an emergency. However, authoritative information sources can suffer from bottlenecks and delays, while user-generated social media data usually lacks the necessary structure and trustworthiness for reliable automated processing. This paper describes and evaluates an automated technique for real-time tracking of wildfire perimeters based on publicly available “curated” crowdsourced data about telephone calls to the emergency services.

Our technique is based on established data mining tools, and can be adjusted using a small number of intuitive parameters. Experiments using data from the devastating Black Saturday wildfires (2009) in Victoria, Australia, demonstrate the potential for the technique to detect

and track wildfire perimeters automatically, in real time, and with relatively high accuracy. Accuracy can be further increased through combination with other authoritative demographic and environmental information, such as population density and dynamic wind fields. These results are also independently validated against data from the more recent 2014 Mickleham-Dalrymple wildfires.”


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