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Ghaith Rabadi

Ghaith Rabadi

Professor and Entrepreneur at Old Dominion University

Ghaith Rabadi is a Professor of Engineering Management & Systems Engineering at Old Dominion University, former Vice President for R&D at Princess Sumaya Unversity for Technology, Amman, Jordan (2018-2020), and founder of POLARes LLC. He received his Ph.D. and M.S. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Central Florida in 1999 and 1996 respectively, and a B.Sc. in Industrial Engineering from Jordan University in 1992. His research interest includes planning & scheduling, modeling & simulation, supply chain management & logistics, data analytics and artificial intelligence.



Track: Analytics in the Public Sector

From R&D to a Startup: iHELP—A Simulation, Optimization, and Analytics Platform for Disaster Response

Natural disasters caused an average of 60,000 deaths per year in the past decade not including wars and pandemics. Single devastating events accounted for 200,000 deaths in some cases. Given the rate at which the climate is changing, no one is expecting these numbers to decline unfortunately.

When disasters strike, it is more common than not for the situation to become chaotic partially due to misutilization of resources, inefficient use of volunteers, and the lack of coordination. The solution we present here addresses the problem of coordinating an optimizing assignment of resources and personnel to multiple modes of transportation across multiple organizations with the objective of deploying relief and aid resources in the shortest possible time using simulation and optimization techniques. Analytics of situational awareness from weather forecasting models to social media posts and images are infused into the framework to produce robust plans. AI’s deep learning, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP) techniques are implemented to contextualize and extract critical but trustworthy information from social media outlets during a crisis.

The platform presented is based a research project that evolved into a prototype development called iHELP (Intelligent Holistic Emergency Logistics Platform) by technology startup POLARes (Planning and Optimization Labs for Analytics, Research and Simulations) with support from NATO’s Innovation Hub to solve a multi-commodity multi-mode transportation problem in disaster rapid response situations.