The EMERGENCY Technical Description

The purpose of the research project EMERGENCY (Mobile decision support in emergency situations) is to improve decision support in emergency situations based on systematic experience-gathering and state of the art support for real-time information access. EMERGENCY is partly funded by the Research Council of Norway, and runs from November 2008 to October 2012.

Improved decision support

Acute emergency situations are characterised by high levels of uncertainty combined with a need for fast and reliable action. The operative leaders in emergency situations must gather relevant information from various sources and decide upon the correct action based on this information, available contextual information obtained by mobile workers in the field, and own experience. Examples of relevant emergency situations are:

To increase the efficiency and improve the quality of the decision process, there is a need for methods and tools that support prediction of information need and potential risks during operations. Current decision support tools in use by the organisations lack the necessary pre-emergency knowledge base to cover this need. To increase the efficiency of data-gathering and improve the quality of communication between mobile workers and operative leaders, mobile workers need user interfaces for mobile devices that can adapt to the users context and need and that facilitate attention demanding tasks through support for interaction based on speech, sound and/or gestures. The EMERGENCY project is a user-driven innovation project, which means that the research is driven by the end-user needs. The end-users of expected results from EMERGENCY are governmental organisations with responsibility in emergency situations such as the police, the fire service, the ambulance service and volunteer organisations, such as the Red Cross.

Two focus areas

In order develop solutions that meet the needs of the end-users EMERGENCY will focus on two main tasks:


The main hypothesis of the EMERGENCY project is that a careful integration of state of the art technologies and principles for risk modelling, user interface design and hand held tools will significantly improve the decision making process of emergency situation operational leaders. The objective is to investigate this hypothesis through the development of mobile decision support solutions for emergency situations based on pre-emergency knowledge resulting from risk analysis.

Expected results

Field trials

To ensure that the developed tools and methods meet end-user needs it is important that they are tested and evaluated in the course of the project. The developed tools and methods will be tested in case studies that are conducted in user environments. The case studies will provide feedback on usability of developed tools and input to the knowledge base.

Created: August 21, 2009. Last updated: March 2, 2012.