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A math team within IBM has come up with specialized math algorithms to help model and manage such natural disasters as wildfires, floods and diseases. The company's "stochastic optimization model" was developed by scientists from IBM Research Labs in New York and India, working with clients as well as business experts from IBM's Global Business Services unit. The effort gives government bodies, relief agencies and private companies tools for strategic planning of resource allocation for natural-disaster management and mitigation. Addressing the challenges of coping with disaster, IBM developed a large-scale strategic budgeting framework, with a focus on better preparedness for uncertain disaster scenarios. The underlying optimization models and algorithms were initially prototyped on a large U.S. government program, where the challenge lay in the efficient large-scale deployment of critical resources in response to various disaster scenarios. That system generated a single solution for each scenario. Enhancements to the budgeting system include the development of simulation models to evaluate the impact of alternative strategies, IBM said.
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