refugees queueing

Informatics staff will develop an expert system for optimizing resources for refugees

Last year's refugee crisis challenged the European countries' capacity to receive and host refugees. A new project, with Gunilla Bradley Centre for Digital Business at Linnaeus University as one of the partners, will design an expert system for optimizing available resources.

Optimizing resources is a difficult task, when a strain of some kind is variable over time. It may be the load on the Swedish Tax Agency's servers with May 1 at hand or traffic optimization. Or how to best deal with refugee inflows similar to those who reached Europe in 2016, based on the resources available.

The refugee crisis in Europe: Modelling Humanitarian Logistics is a new project with partners from the Netherlands, South Africa and Sweden, aimed at focusing on the logistic difficulties that arise when large numbers of refugees come into a country. The Gunilla Bradley Centre for Digital Business research group at Linnaeus University is responsible for the Swedish part of the project.

– We have a unique knowledge of the economic benefits that the use of digital technologies can give rise to. And because the type of crisis that the project focuses on is largely about how resources should be housed optimally, our skills are necessary, as well as others, says professor Darek Haftor, research director at the Gunilla Bradley Centre.

The key question of the project is how to utilize available resources in a manner that offers greater flexibility and availability and thereby contributes to a positive resolution of demand peaks, yet without adding massive additional resources. A planned outcome is an expert information system that, using parameters entered in the system, provides a prognosis or a plan for how to optimize the use of available resources for refugee hosting, in a manner that accounts for the ethical positions of the involved stakeholders of a given situation.

– The most important thing about this project is its purpose! That the project focuses on an actual social problem, where people suffer and where there are no simple solutions, says professor Darek Haftor.

Read more about the project at its web page.

Image: CC-BY-SA-4.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:A_line_of_Syrian_refugees_crossing_the_border_of_Hungary_and_Austria_on_their_way_to_Germany._Hungary,_Central_Europe,_6_September_2015.jpg