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Levine E.S.,Office of Risk Management and Analysis
Journal of Risk Research | Year: 2012

Risk matrices are a common tool used throughout the public and private sector to assess and manage risk qualitatively. However, these matrices have well-documented shortcomings when used for either assessment or management that can be shown by assuming a quantitative scale for the likelihood and consequence axes. This article describes the construction of a logarithmically scaled risk assessment matrix which alleviates some of the limitations inherent in using linearly structured risk matrices. In particular, logarithmic risk matrices can better differentiate between hazards with a large dynamic range in risks and, when used in combination with a new categorization scheme, the categorization of risks is more straightforward. These properties are demonstrated using a hypothetical example. Finally, the defensibility of logarithmic matrices is examined in the context of previously proposed rules for developing risk matrices. © 2012 Copyright Taylor and Francis Group, LLC. Source

Levine E.S.,Office of Risk Management and Analysis
Risk Analysis | Year: 2012

Many analyses conducted to inform security decisions depend on estimates of the conditional probabilities of different attack alternatives. These probabilities are difficult to estimate since analysts have limited access to the adversary and limited knowledge of the adversary's utility function, so subject matter experts often provide the estimates through direct elicitation. In this article, we describe a method of using uncertainty in utility function value tradeoffs to model the adversary's decision process and solve for the conditional probabilities of different attacks in closed form. The conditional probabilities are suitable to be used as inputs to probabilistic risk assessments and other decision support techniques. The process we describe is an extension of value-focused thinking and is broadly applicable, including in general business decision making. We demonstrate the use of this technique with simple examples. © 2011 Society for Risk Analysis. Source

Levine E.S.,Office of Risk Management and Analysis | Waters J.F.,Office of Risk Management and Analysis
Risk Analysis | Year: 2013

This article describes a risk analysis used to inform resource allocation at the Tucson Sector of the U.S. Border Patrol, the busiest sector for alien and drug trafficking along the Southwest land border with Mexico. The model and methodology that underlie this analysis are generally applicable to many resource allocation decisions regarding the management of frequently occurring hazards, decisions regularly made by officials at all levels of the homeland security enterprise. The analysis was executed by agents without previous risk expertise working under a short time frame, and the findings from the analysis were used to inform several resource allocation decisions. © 2013 domain in the USA. Source

Ezell B.C.,Old Dominion University | Bennett S.P.,Office of Risk Management and Analysis | Von Winterfeldt D.,International Institute For Applied Systems Analysis | Sokolowski J.,Old Dominion University | Collins A.J.,Old Dominion University
Risk Analysis | Year: 2010

Since the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent establishment of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), considerable efforts have been made to estimate the risks of terrorism and the cost effectiveness of security policies to reduce these risks. DHS, industry, and the academic risk analysis communities have all invested heavily in the development of tools and approaches that can assist decisionmakers in effectively allocating limited resources across the vast array of potential investments that could mitigate risks from terrorism and other threats to the homeland. Decisionmakers demand models, analyses, and decision support that are useful for this task and based on the state of the art. Since terrorism risk analysis is new, no single method is likely to meet this challenge. In this article we explore a number of existing and potential approaches for terrorism risk analysis, focusing particularly on recent discussions regarding the applicability of probabilistic and decision analytic approaches to bioterrorism risks and the Bioterrorism Risk Assessment methodology used by the DHS and criticized by the National Academies and others. © 2010 Society for Risk Analysis. Source

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