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Open-Source Risk Estimation Software

Keith A. Porter, & Charles R. Scawthorn

Published 2007, SCEC Contribution #1063

Risk analysis is a critical link in the reduction of death and destruction due to earthquakes. Recognition of this has led to a rapid rise in demand for accurate, reliable and credible risk analyses. A bottleneck exists however between the wealth of high quality scientific data generated by researchers, and the demands of end-users -- that bottleneck is the dearth of readily available, user-friendly transparent risk analysis software to meet the wide variety of end-user needs. This situation, of strong demand for user-adaptable software, has emerged in many fields and has been met by the Open Source movement with solutions such as Linux, OpenOffice, Mozilla and Wikipedia. This trend is also strong the seismic arena, as evidenced by the emergence of OpenSHA and OpenSEES serving critical parts of the field. Open-source risk (OSR) software meets this demand and also advances research and enhances training in a variety of catastrophe-related disciplines.

This report documents the initial design of OpenRisk, an OSR application for quantifying risk to individual facilities and portfolios of facilities in terms of probabilistic repair costs, human casualties, and loss of use (”dollars, deaths, and downtime”). OpenRisk’s initial development will focus on seismic risk to individual facilities via traditional loss-estimation algorithms, with subsequent developments addressing portfolio risk, performance-based earthquake engineering analysis of single facilities, and eventually risk from wind and other hazards. This report is organized to first provide a development roadmap for OpenRisk, including a brief overview of the fields of loss estimation and performance-based earthquake engineering (PBEE), a brief review of existing loss-estimation and PBEE software, a mission statement for OpenRisk and a proposed development approach. A significant part of the report then documents risk algorithms as a major first step towards programming. Next, an initial list and summary specification of software objects employing these algorithms is provided, together with draft development guidelines. Finally, initial data structures are documented, along with a seed database of structure types, seismic vulnerability functions, and damage probability matrices, followed by Appendices providing supporting information. As OpenRisk is anticipated to develop dynamically, so is this report, with releases and feedback requests available online at www.risk-agora.org/agora.htm.

Porter, K. A., & Scawthorn, C. R. (2007). Open-Source Risk Estimation Software (Report ver 1.01). Pasadena, : SPA Risk LLC.