Chaotic planning research for the Merseyside fire and rescue service

An eighteen month project lead by Mike Francis and supported by Hülya Francis, Mark Taylor and Başak Vurguncu will shortly be starting with Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service. The project will involve the development of a Web-based Chaordic Geographical Information System to analyse incidents of house fires within the Merseyside Area. The project will include the application of Chaos Theory, which is a branch of mathematics that concerns the modelling of systems where the outcomes develop over time into patterns (or orbits) with particular concentrations of the patterns in certain areas (attractors), and where even a small change in the initial conditions of the system can lead to different patterns of outcomes emerging.
The aim of the project is to analyse house fire incident data and determine any patterns that appear in the data and establish which combinations of variables might indicate a significant increase in the probability of house fires. Chaos Theory has had limited application to Geographical Information Systems previously, but has been applied mainly to forest fires and river meanders. It is intended that the system developed will later be extended to analyse incidents of commercial fires as well.

Page last modified 19 June 2008.

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