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Monday, August 10, 2015

Improving global security through real-time analysis of complex risks

Statistical models are playing an increasingly important role in risk analysis and helping the United States and other countries around the globe mitigate the effects of natural and man-made disasters, said Siddhartha (Sid) Dalal during a presentation at the 2015 Joint Statistical Meetings (JSM 2015) yesterday in Seattle.

Dalal presented a talk titled "Challenges in Risk Analysis of Complex Systems: From Space Shuttle Challenger and Dirty Bombs to Medical Drugs and Chemicals" at a luncheon sponsored by the American Statistical Association's (ASA) Committee on Statistical Partnerships among Academe, Industry, and Government (SPAIG).

Photo: Siddhartha Dalal
Dalal is chief data scientist and senior vice president at AIG, an international insurance organization with customers in more than 100 countries and jurisdictions. He also is an adjunct professor teaching data mining to graduate students at Columbia University.

While statistical models can provide insight into risks, the field is experiencing a sea change brought on by new advances in technology and data collection, including Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), said Dalal during his luncheon presentation. IoT describes the growing network of physical objects or "things" embedded with electronics, software, sensors and connectivity, enabling these objects to exchange data with their manufacturers, their operators and other connected devices.

With the increased ability to collect data through IoT and analyze this data in real time, the field of risk analysis is entering an exciting new phase based on real-time probabilistic risk analysis. This emerging paradigm can enable humans to better manage risks associated with complex systems, including space shuttles launching into orbit, illicit nuclear materials crossing national boundaries and the side effects of chemicals and even medical drugs, explained Dalal, who is an expert in the field of risk analysis and was appointed by the National Academy of Sciences to a panel commissioned to study the Challenger disaster. The panel's research demonstrated the ability of statistical science to predict risks to space shuttles and convinced the National Air and Space Administration (NASA) to establish a probabilistic risk assessment group...

JSM 2015 is being held August 8-13 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. More than 6,000 statisticians—representing academia, business and industry, as well as national, state and local governments—from numerous countries are attending North America's largest statistical science gathering.

Source: Phys.Org