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A Base Level Ontology for Disaster Management

Mehtab Afzal,
Qazi Mudassar Ilyas,
Ijaz Ahmed,
Javeria Ajoon,


A disaster may be caused by natural or man-caused hazard and all disasters require some mitigation measures. Current Disaster Management Systems (DMS) depend on manual data entry, analysis, and decision making. Semantic Web technologies are gaining popularity for developing intelligent and self-governed systems and can be used effectively in a DMS. Ontologies are an integral part of a semantic DMS and in this article we propose two-fold use of the ontologies in a semantic DMS. Firstly, ontologies can be used as background knowledge for effective discovery and selection of resources. Secondly, after population, they can be used for reasoning to support decision making process. We propose a base level disaster ontology that covers prominent aspects of disaster management such as intrinsic properties of disaster (disaster type, disaster date and location), losses caused, services required, service providers, and relief items. The proposed ontology is evaluated using data-driven approach. The results of conventional crawling are compared with ontology-driven crawling on documents most-relevant, semi-relevant and irrelevant to disasters which show that ontology-driven crawling is more effective for resource discovery and selection as compared to conventional crawling.


Information retrieval; Semantic disaster management system; Disaster ontology; Knowledge management

Citation Format:
Mehtab Afzal, Qazi Mudassar Ilyas, Ijaz Ahmed, Javeria Ajoon, "A Base Level Ontology for Disaster Management," Journal of Internet Technology, vol. 18, no. 2 , pp. 247-259, Mar. 2017.

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