Sustainable Disaster Recovery Decision-Making Support Tool: Integrating Economic Vulnerability into the Objective Functions of the Associated Stakeholders


Natural disasters affect the built environment's infrastructure and disturb the economic sector's sustainability and welfare. This requires a disaster recovery decision support tool that capitalizes on the redevelopment opportunities to elevate societies to a more-sustainable and less-vulnerable status. As such, this paper presents an agent-based model approach that aims to meet the objectives of stakeholders while decreasing the community's economic vulnerability. Accordingly, the proposed model adopts a five-step research methodology: (1) implementing a comprehensive economic vulnerability assessment tool; (2) developing the objective functions and learning algorithms of the associated stakeholders; (3) modeling the different attributes and potential strategies of the various stakeholders; (4) creating an interdependent agent based model that simulates the aforementioned information; and (5) interpreting and analyzing the results generated from the developed model. The model is developed and tested on the post-Katrina residential housing and economic financial recovery in three Mississippi coastal counties. The model proposed an evolving optimal budget distribution that decreased the economic vulnerability and increased the residential and economic recovery. Ultimately, the holistic framework utilized in this study lays down the foundation for a new generation of interdisciplinary managerial decision-making support tools.


Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering

Keywords and Phrases

Autonomous agents; Budget control; Computational methods; Decision making; Decision support systems; Disasters; Housing; Recovery; Sustainable development, Decision making support; Decision support tools; Economic vulnerability; Holistic frameworks; Managerial decision making; Objective functions; Research methodologies; Residential housings, Economic and social effects

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

0742-597X; 1943-5479

Document Type

Article - Journal

Document Version


File Type





© 2017 American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), All rights reserved.

Publication Date

01 Mar 2017