Designing inclusion and continuity for resilient communication during disasters

Indushree Banerjee*, Martijn Warnier, Frances M.T. Brazier

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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This paper addresses the challenge of establishing a resilient disaster communication system that transitions seamlessly from a phone-based ad hoc network to any portable infrastructure and back. For this purpose, this paper presents a value-based design of an autonomous and self-organized protocol (SOS-hybrid). This design ensures seamless integration between various communication networks taking local context into account to increase inclusion and continuity of connectivity. SOS-hybrid has two benefits. First, local self-organization can adapt to the local situation in a disaster area. Second, context-awareness can fill in the spatial gaps of coverage associated with top-down approaches. An agent-based modelling approach was used to develop the simulation of the proposed communication network to evaluate the impact of introducing SOS-hybrid in the aftermath of a disaster. SOS-hybrid allows phones to simultaneously provide the benefits of (i) ad hoc mobile networking, allowing hard-to-reach people to connect, and (ii) infrastructure-based communication, allowing phones to more efficiently send messages over long distances. Benefits include two-way communication between community and rescue operators, inclusion and continued connectivity for immobile citizens stuck in isolated out of coverage areas, and seamless transition without loss of messages.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)955-970
Number of pages16
JournalSustainable and Resilient Infrastructure
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2022


  • community resilience
  • context-aware protocol
  • hybrid network
  • Resilient communications
  • self-organisation
  • value-based design


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  • Self-Organisation for Survival

    Banerjee, I., 2022, 272 p.

    Research output: ThesisDissertation (TU Delft)

    Open Access
    63 Downloads (Pure)

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