sealPurdue News

April 19, 2002

Computer simulation seeks measured response to crisis

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Officials from federal, state and local agencies will join Purdue University faculty in a computer simulation on April 26 to test what responses work best in an unfolding crisis.

The state's new I-Light computer network and specialized software designed at Purdue will be used in tandem to simulate a crisis during a music festival in a major city.

"Purdue has the expertise to help public officials prepare for the decisions they would face in this kind of emergency," says Alok Chaturvedi, the event director and an associate professor in the Krannert School of Management. "If you do too much, you're in trouble. If you do to little, you're in trouble. The point is to determine what a measured response is in a crisis situation."

Computers will model the impact of the crisis in the context of government actions, the reactions of the economy and public sentiment.

The computer-simulation technology is called Synthetic Environment for Analysis and Simulation (SEAS), the result of seven years of research and development at the Krannert School. Previously, SEAS has been used in U.S. Department of Defense exercises and market-simulation competitions for Krannert School MBA students.

Each of the team participants will be equipped with handheld wireless computers linked to IBM supercomputers located at Purdue and Indiana University connected through the state's I-Light gigabit network. Indiana is believed to be the first state to deploy such a high-performance data network, which is capable of moving the entire written contents of the universities' libraries from one campus to another in seconds.

Sponsoring the event are the Purdue e-Business Research Center (PERC), Purdue's Office of the Vice President for Information Technology and Simulex Inc. The Institute for Defense Analyses, an Alexandria, Va., based think tank has helped develop the crisis scenario.

PERC is directed by Chaturvedi and Shailendra Mehta, the co-director of the event and Krannert School director of entrepreneurship and small business outreach.

PERC is an interdisciplinary research group made up of Indiana research universities, corporations, industry associations and public sector institutions. It is funded by grants from Indiana's 21st Century Research and Technology Fund, the National Science Foundation and the E-Enterprises Center in Purdue's recently announced $100 million Discovery Park.

Writer: J.M. Lillich, (765) 494-2077,

Source: Alok Chaturvedi, (765) 494-9048,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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