Hazard assessment of debris flows by credal networks

Authors: Alessandro Antonucci, Andrea Salvetti and Marco Zaffalon

Abstract: Debris flows are destructive natural hazards that affect human life, buildings, and infrastructures. Despite their importance, debris flows are only partially understood, and human expertise still plays a key role for hazard identification. This paper proposes filling the modelling gap by using credal networks, an imprecise-probability model. The model uses a directed graph to capture the causal relationships between the triggering factors of debris flows. Quantitative influences are represented by probability intervals, determined from historical data, expert knowledge, and theoretical models. Most importantly, the model joins the empirical and the quantitative modelling levels, in the direction of more credible inferences. The model is evaluated on real case studies related to dangerous areas of the Ticino Canton, southern Switzerland. The case studies highlight the good capabilities of the model: for all the areas the model produces significant probabilities of hazard.

Year: 2004.

Details: In Pahl-Wostl, C. and Schmidt, S. and Rizzoli, A. E. and Jakeman, A. J. (Eds.), iEMSs 2004: Complexity and Integrated Resources Management, Transactions of the 2nd Biennial Meeting of the International Environmental Modelling and Software Society. iEMSs, pp. 98-103.

A version similar to the published paper can be downloaded.