Analyzing evacuation decisions using multi-attribute utility theory (MAUT)

Paul Kailiponi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Emergency managers are faced with critical evacuation decisions. These decisions must balance conflicting objectives as well as high levels of uncertainty. Multi-Attribute Utility Theory (MAUT) provides a framework through which objective trade-offs can be analyzed to make optimal evacuation decisions. This paper is the result of data gathered during the European Commission Project, Evacuation Responsiveness by Government Organizations (ERGO) and outlines a preliminary decision model for the evacuation decision. The illustrative model identifies levels of risk at which point evacuation actions should be taken by emergency managers in a storm surge scenario with forecasts at 12 and 9 hour intervals. The results illustrate how differences in forecast precision affect the optimal evacuation decision. Additional uses for this decision model are also discussed along with improvements to the model through future ERGO data-gathering.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)163-174
Number of pages12
JournalProcedia Engineering
Early online date20 Aug 2010
Publication statusPublished - 30 Dec 2010
Event1st International Conference on Evacuation Modeling and Management - The Hague, Netherlands
Duration: 23 Sept 200925 Sept 2009

Bibliographical note

© 2010 Published by Elsevier Ltd. Open access under CC BY-NC-ND license


  • emergency management
  • evacuation
  • multi-attribute utility theory
  • risk


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