CCICADA Receives Homeland Security Best Paper Award at the 2015 Institute of Industrial Engineering Conference and Expo

Award Given for ‘Optimal US Coast Guard Boat Allocations with Sharing’

The Institute of IISERC3ndustrial Engineering (IIE) has selected the CCICADA research paper ‘Optimal US Coast Guard Boat Allocations w/Sharing’ as its Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Sessions (ISERC) Homeland Security Best Paper. The award was presented to CCICADA as part of the IIE Annual Conference & Expo 2015, May 30 – June 2 in Nashville Tennessee.

This paper represented a unique partnership of university and US Coast Guard researchers and authors. CCICADA Post-doctoral Associates Brian Nakamura, PhD, and Christie Nelson, PhD (CCICADA-Rutgers University), accepted this prestigious award on behalf of the research team and paper co-authors.

The researchers and authors included, from CCICADA- Rutgers University: Fred S. Roberts, Endre Boros, Paul Kantor, Brian Nakamura, Christie Nelson, Brian Ricks, Curtis McGinity. From the US Coast Guard, they included: Patrick Ball (former USCG), Chad Conrad, Thomas Rader; Federal Aviation Administration: Kevin Hanson (former USCG). The CCICADA team was recognized at the conference’s President’s Reception and Honors & Awards Banquet.

The CCICADA data-driven, decision-support project that is at the core of the paper’s research is the USCG Boat Allocation Module Phase II or BAM II. Representing a unique researcher-homeland security practitioner partnership, the BAM II project’s resource-optimization model gives the USCG the opportunity to explore shared boat assignment scenarios across USCG stations. The goal of the project was either to minimize costs or minimize the number of boat assignments.

The concept of sharing boat assets grew from the first phase of the BAM project. BAM modelling focused on whole-boat solutions in the optimal assignment of boats to stations. Although this led to potential significant improvements in boat allocations and associated cost savings (USCG estimated 20 year savings of up to $120 million), fractional solutions to the model proved to hold promise for even greater efficiencies. Fractional boats in the context of USCG operations means shared boats. In other words, a boat asset could be used for a specified time period at one station to satisfy mission needs there, then moved or shared with another station (within a reasonable proximity/within district) to meet its mission requirements.

For example, suppose Station A needs 2.5 boats to meets its responsibilities and Station B needs 1.5 boats.   In the whole-boat case, Station A would be assigned 3 boats and Station B would have 2 boats for a total of 5 boats. A sharing model could allow for the assignment of 1 less boat with shared mission efforts between the 2 stations.

Again, the success of the project and subsequent recognition of its research merits and operational contributions through the ISERC Best Paper Award could only have occurred through close collaboration between CCICADA and the USCG. This partnership is necessary to accurately build a feasible and usable model in support of the USCG’s homeland security priorities.

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CCICADA Director Dr. Fred Roberts presenting a copy of the Best Paper Award Plaque to LT Tom Rader of the USCG. Photo Credit: Paul Kantor

In addition to appearing in the Honors and Awards program at the 2015 conference, the award will be published in Industrial Engineer magazine and posted on the Honors & Awards page of the IIE web site.

CCICADA stands for the Command, Control and Interoperability Center for Advanced Data Analysis, a consortium of 17 universities and businesses that conducts homeland security research, with real-world applications, for agencies of the US Department of Homeland Security and other groups.

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