T. Comes

T. Comes
Delft University of Technology | TU · Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

Dr.

About

150
Publications
90,560
Reads
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2,196
Citations
Introduction
The transition to more and more digitalized societies is both an opportunity and a challenge. To support decision-makers in this complex era my research aims at bridging the gap between decision analytic models and ready-to-use systems. I design and evaluate systems and tools for risk and crisis management in networks that call for high levels of resilience, adaptivity and agility. To this end, I combine field research, experiments and training with a strong analytical background.
Additional affiliations
April 2017 - present
Delft University of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
January 2013 - present
Universitetet i Agder
Position
  • Professor
January 2010 - June 2013
Karlsruhe Institute of Technology

Publications

Publications (150)
Preprint
Full-text available
Novel data sensing and AI technologies are finding practical use in the analysis of crisis resilience, revealing the need to consider how responsible artificial intelligence (AI) practices can mitigate harmful outcomes and protect vulnerable populations. In this opinion paper, we present a responsible AI roadmap that is embedded in the Crisis Infor...
Article
Full-text available
The challenges for sustainable cities to protect the environment, ensure economic growth, and maintain social justice have been widely recognized. Along with the digitization, availability of large datasets, Machine Learning (ML) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are promising to revolutionize the way we analyze and plan urban areas, opening new opp...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has emerged as an unprecedented health crisis worldwide and heavily disrupted the healthcare supply chain. This study focuses on analysing the different types of disruptions occurring in personal protective equipment (PPE) supply chains during the COVID-19 pandemic and on proposing mitigation stra...
Article
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The growing need for humanitarian assistance has inspired an increasing amount of academic publications in the field of humanitarian logistics. Over the past two decades, the humanitarian logistics literature has developed a powerful toolbox of standardized problem formulations to address problems ranging from distribution to scheduling or location...
Article
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Humanitarian crises, such as the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic, challenge information management and thereby threaten the digital resilience of the responding organizations. Crisis information management (CIM) is characterised by the urgency to respond despite the uncertainty of the situation. Coupled with high stakes, limited resources and a hig...
Article
During infectious disease outbreaks, early warning is crucial to prevent and control the further spread of the disease. While the different waves of the Covid-19 pandemic have demonstrated the need for continued compliance, little is known about the impact of warning messages and risk perception on individual behavior in public health emergencies....
Article
Full-text available
The spread of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 presents many challenges to healthcare systems and infrastructures across the world, exacerbating inequalities and leaving the world’s most vulnerable populations at risk. Epidemiological modelling is vital to guiding evidence-informed or data-driven decision making. In forced displacement contexts...
Chapter
Agent-based models (ABM) for policy design need to be grounded in empirical data. While many ABMs rely on quantitative data such as surveys, much empirical research in the social sciences is based on qualitative research methods such as interviews or observations that are hard to translate into a set of quantitative rules, leading to a gap in the p...
Preprint
Full-text available
Humanitarian crises, such as the 2014 West Africa Ebola epidemic, challenge information management and thereby threaten the digital resilience of the responding organizations. Crisis information management (CIM) is characterised by the urgency to respond despite the uncertainty of the situation. Coupled with high stakes, limited resources and a hig...
Article
Full-text available
This paper focuses on the particular power of storytelling to foster reflection and connections between people in urban life. In fact, the core principles and mechanisms for public storytelling to achieve this have yet to be made explicit. This gap is addressed by introducing a novel reflective storytelling framework that unveils the underlying pri...
Article
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Droughts and changing rainfall patterns due to natural climate variability and climate change, threaten the livelihoods of Malawi’s smallholder farmers, who constitute 80% of the population. Provision of seasonal climate forecasts (SCFs) is one means to potentially increase the resilience of rainfed farming to drought by informing farmers in their...
Article
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Blockchain technology promises to improve the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of humanitarian operations. Yet at the same time, especially the humanitarian context with its characteristic volatility poses unique challenges to any technology. Most prominent are the humanitarian principles that are fundamental to humanitarian operations....
Preprint
Full-text available
Along with climate change, more frequent extreme events, such as flooding and tropical cyclones, threaten the livelihoods and wellbeing of poor and vulnerable populations. One of the most immediate needs of people affected by a disaster is finding shelter. While the proliferation of data on disasters is already helping to save lives, identifying da...
Chapter
As climate change is becoming a reality, there is an increasing demand to improve urban resilience. Planning Support Systems (PSS) enable climate-informed planning. However, previous research confirms difficulties in the uptake of PSS due to their resource-intensive nature and lack of awareness of their usefulness. This chapter aims to make a headw...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Along with climate change, more frequent extreme events, such as flooding and tropical cyclones, threaten the livelihoods and wellbeing of poor and vulnerable populations. One of the most immediate needs of people affected by a disaster is finding shelter. While the proliferation of data on disasters is already helping to save lives, identifying da...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Covid19 crisis has highlighted once more that socioeconomic inequalities are a main driver of vulnerability. Especially in densely populated urban areas, these inequalities can drastically change even within neighbourhoods. However, conventionally such vulnerabilities are analysed at city or district scale. As such, new methods with higher gran...
Chapter
Literature about humanitarian logistics (HL) has developed a lot of innovative decision support systems during the last decades to support decisions such as location, routing, supply, or inventory management. Most of those contributions are based on quantitative models but, generally, are not used by practitioners who are not confident with. This c...
Article
Full-text available
Traditionally, disaster management information systems have been designed to facilitate communication and coordination along stable hierarchical lines and roles. However, to support coordination in disaster response, disaster management information systems need to cater for the emerging roles, responsibilities and information needs of the actors, o...
Chapter
Full-text available
Literature about humanitarian logistics (HL) has developed a lot of innovative decision support systems during the last decades to support decisions such as location, routing, supply, or inventory management. Most of those contributions are based on quantitative models but, generally, are not used by practitioners who are not confident with. This c...
Article
Full-text available
In the immediate aftermath of a disaster, local and international aid organisations deploy to deliver life-saving aid to the affected population. Yet pre-disaster road maps and road transportation models do not capture disruptions to the transportation network caused by the disaster or the dynamic changes of the situation, resulting in uncertainty...
Article
Full-text available
More than any other facet of resilience, social resilience raises the inherent tension within the concept between identity or persistence, and transformation. Is a community the people who make it up, or the geography or physical infrastructure they share? What about the resilience of communities that transform, as a result of a sudden disaster or...
Article
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Humanitarian disasters are highly dynamic and uncertain. The shifting situation, volatility of information, and the emergence of decision processes and coordination structures require humanitarian organizations to continuously adapt their operations. In this paper, we aim to make headway in understanding adaptive decision‐making in a dynamic interp...
Article
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Resilient critical airport infrastructures affected by a disaster need to sustain minimal functionality and quickly resume full operation , while at the same time coping with the increased operational demands imposed by the unfolding disaster response. In this paper, we develop a resilience framework and model-driven approach that focuses on the ab...
Article
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There are two dominant trends in the humanitarian care of 2019: the ‘technologizing of care’ and the centrality of the humanitarian principles. The concern, however, is that these two trends may conflict with one another. Faced with the growing use of drones in the humanitarian space there is need for ethical reflection to understand if this techno...
Article
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Citizens' engagement in their neighbourhood community is pivotal for cities to effectively deal with future transitions. Knowing what is going on and having access to the neighbourhood network are important conditions for this. Although prior research has studied ways to foster information sharing between citizens, the underlying assumptions and de...
Article
As humanitarian organizations are struggling to reach an increasing number of beneficiaries, humanitarian-business partnerships, such as the use of logistics service providers (LSPs), promise to improve effectivity and efficiency of humanitarian assistance. Blockchain-based smart contracts which ensure automation, transparency, and efficiency promi...
Article
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The efficient and effective response to disasters critically depends on humanitarian supply chains (HSCs). HSCs need to be flexible to adapt to uncertainties in needs, infrastructure conditions, and behavior of other organizations. The concept of ‘network flexibility’ is, however, not clearly defined. The lack of an unanimous definition has led to...
Article
Full-text available
Humanitarian supply chains (HSCs) contribute significantly to achieving effective and rapid responses to natural and man-made disasters. Though humanitarian organizations have during the last decades made considerable efforts to improve the response to crises in terms of effectiveness and efficiency, HSCs are still faced with so many challenges, on...
Article
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In the humanitarian response, multiple decision-makers (DMs) need to collaborate in various problems, such as locating temporary relief distribution centres (RDCs). Several studies have argued that maximising demand coverage, reducing logistics costs and minimising response time are among the critical objectives when locating RDCs after a sudden-on...
Conference Paper
Humanitarian aid workers who try to provide aid to the most vulnerable populations in the Middle East or Africa are risking their own lives and safety to help others. The current lack of a collaborative real-time information system to predict threats prevents responders and local partners from developing a shared understanding of potentially threat...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to present a methodology for research through game design and discuss how simulation games can be used to bridge the gap between operational exercises and simulation or analytical modelling and to provide guidelines on how simulation games can be designed for different research purposes in the context of humanit...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Information and supporting information systems is a key element in an effective emergency response. From creating situational awareness to informed decision making, information enables responders to optimize their decisions and operations. Today, with the increased availability of information technology around the globe, a new active player in the...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Evaluation and testing are major steps in the development of any information system, particularly if it is to be used in high-risk contexts such as conflicts. While thus far there are various approaches for testing against technology requirements; usability or usefulness, there is a lack of a comprehensive evaluation framework that combines the thr...
Article
Locating distribution centers is critical for humanitarians in the immediate aftermath of a sudden-onset disaster. A major challenge lies in balancing the complexity and uncertainty of the problem with time and resource constraints. To address this problem, we propose a location allocation model that divides the topography of affected areas into mu...
Chapter
Full-text available
Resilient communities are an important prerequisite to reach urban resilience. In such communities, citizens need to be able to participate for improving liveability and safety of their environment. The playable city, where participation is key, provides the environment for this process to unfold. This paper researches requirements for the design o...
Chapter
Resilient communities are an important prerequisite to reach urban resilience. In such communities, citizens need to be able to participate for improving liveability and safety of their environment. The playable city, where participation is key, provides the environment for this process to unfold. This paper researches requirements for the design o...
Article
Humanitarian logistics operations perform challenging tasks while responding to large-scale natural disasters. Decision makers at different stages of humanitarian operations exploit numerous problem-specific decision-making models or tools. When synchronising the outputs (decisions) from models into a unified solution, the situation becomes critica...
Chapter
At the onset of an indoor fire emergency, the availability of the information becomes critical due to the chaotic situation at the emergency site. Moreover, if information is lacking, not shared, or responders are too overloaded to acknowledge it, lives can be lost and property can be harmed. Therefore, the goal of this paper is to identify informa...
Article
Full-text available
Scenarios are designed to support decision-makers in gaining a better understanding of the consequences of their decisions. Scenario-based simulations, hence, present an ideal way to train decision-makers for complex and high-risk situations. Usually, training scenarios are human-authored which is limiting in terms of the number and diversity of th...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The introduction of new information and communication technologies enables communities to share information and self-organize in the response to disasters. Crowd-sourcing approaches enable professional authorities to capture information from the ground in real-time. However, there is a gap between the professional and community-driven response: loc...
Conference Paper
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This paper describes the IsITethical? Exchange, a European knowledge and service hub we are developing with and for diverse parties involved in crisis and disaster risk management. Their commitment to European values and fundamental rights underpins the rationale of the initiative, which is to support European societies' need for high quality innov...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The profusion of information technology has created new possibilities for local communities to self-organize and respond to disruptive events. Along with the opportunities, there is also a series of challenges that need to be addressed in order to improve societal resilience. One of these challenges is to make sense of the continuous stream of info...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
The Humanitarian Supply Chain (HSC) is key to successful relief operations. Today, HSC managers faces many challenges: (1) the increasing gap between funding and appeals; (2) donors ask for more transparency and accountability; (3) the growing pressure to switch to sustainable development. To maintain a competitive position (order winner) in the ne...
Chapter
Information plays a critical role in humanitarian assistance. It has become a product that is shared for multiple purposes such as situational awareness, decision-making, coordination, reporting, and attracting funding. In the aftermath of sudden onset disasters, humanitarians are constrained with huge workload, time pressure, and uncertainties and...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this paper is to analyze how far technology and information enable, facilitate or support the planning and implementation decisions in humanitarian vaccine cold chains for vaccination campaigns. The authors specifically focus on three emerging technologies that have the potential to create more flexible conditions in the field, and i...
Article
Full-text available
New information and communication technologies (ICT) have enabled communities to collect and share information and tap into a network of peers in unprecedented ways. For more than a decade, information has been recognized as a vital part of disaster relief, and recently ICTs have been described to improve the resilience of disaster-ridden societies...
Chapter
Full-text available
During search and rescue (SAR) operations, information plays a significant role in empowering the emergency response personnel at various levels. But, understanding the information which is being shared between/among emergency personnel is necessary to improve current coordination systems. However, such systems can help the first responders to gain...
Conference Paper
Disasters are characterized by conflicting, uncertain, or lacking data. Nevertheless, humanitarian responders need to make rapid decisions. This is particularly true for the immediate response to a sudden onset disaster. Since most humanitarian decision support systems (DSS) make important assumptions on data availability and quality that are often...
Article
Humanitarian supply chains (HSCs) play a central role in effective and efficient disaster relief operations. Transportation has a critical share in HSCs and managing its risks helps to avoid further disruptions in relief operations. However, there is no common approach to or culture of risk management that its applicability has been studied through...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Purpose This paper proposes a research design for effective use of qualitative data from field research in a quantitative analysis of humanitarian logistics. Design/methodology/approach Our research design is composed of qualitative and quantitative components. The qualitative part has four steps: preparation, data collection, data combination and...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper proposes a performance measurement definition to consider sustainable development principles in the humanitarian supply chain operations (source, make, deliver). Previous research has shown the challenge for humanitarian organizations to consider the three sustainability pillars people, planet and profit in their decision-making processe...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Simulation exercises as a training tool for enhancing preparedness for emergency response are widely adopted in disaster management. This paper addresses current scenario design processes, proposes an alternative approach for simulation exercises and introduces a conceptual design of an adaptive scenario generator. Our work is based on a systematic...