IBM Evacuation Planner     


IBM Evacuation Planner - overview

Resilience and vulnerability are two sides of the same coin. Communities need to understand their risks before they can take steps to reduce them. IBM Evacuation Planner makes it possible to conduct detailed investigations of hypothetical bushfire scenarios. Through these scenarios users can assess the impact of a bushfire at multiple levels; from a broad region down to individuals. Furthermore, with our scenario building tools users can quantify and compare the effectiveness of various risk mitigation strategies.

Modelling and simulation

Behind the scenes we employ state-of-the-art modelling and simulation subsystems to predict: the spread of the fire, the behaviour of the population, and the flow of traffic throughout the evacuation. Together these systems fill in the blanks for evacuation planners.

While our default service provides all the necessary subsystems, for some users the ability to connect alternatives is important. Accordingly, we have used a highly modular design that enables complete subsystems to be substituted. For example, there are dozens of traffic simulators available, each with different strengths and weaknesses; our design avoids confining the user to any particular one. This also makes it easy for us to leverage future innovations and developments.


Users can create and inspect realistic scenarios through a standard web browser. Current configuration options include:

  • ignition points
  • wind speed and direction
  • fire danger index
  • shelters / evacuation centres

Results include:

  • dynamic fire spread
  • dynamic traffic conditions
  • regional clearance times
  • regional egress times
  • regional departure profiles
  • at-risk individual identification

Contact us

This project is part of an ongoing effort at IBM Research to produce real-world decision support tools for emergency management. If you would like to learn more about IBM Evacuation Planner please contact Dr Ermyas Abebe or Dr Christian Vecchiola at

Simulation of Wildfire Evacuation with Dynamic Factors and Model Composition

Our most recent work can be seen in this technical report.

Millgrove Evacuation Study

We previously applied our modelling to the Victorian town of Millgrove, about 60 km east of Melbourne CBD. The primary objective was to explore and understand the difference, in terms of traffic conditions, between the establishment of a single fire-safe refuge, and the establishment of two such refuges.

Details of this study can be found in the full report: Millgrove Evacuation Study.