Exponential random graph modeling of emergency collaboration networks

Liaquat Hossain, Jafar Hamra, Rolf T. Wigand, Sven Carlsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Effective response to bushfires requires collaboration involving a set of interdependent complex tasks that need to be carried out in a synergistic manner. Improved response to bushfires has been attributed to how effective different emergency management agencies carry out their tasks in a coordinated manner. Previous studies have documented the underlying relationships between collaboration among emergency management personnel on the effective outcome in delivering improved bushfire response. There are, however, very few systematic empirical studies with a focus on the effect of collaboration networks among emergency management personnel and bushfire response. Given that collaboration evolves among emergency management personnel when they communicate, in this study, we first propose an approach to map the collaboration network among emergency management personnel. Then, we use Exponential Random Graph (ERG) models to explore the micro-level network structures of emergency management networks and their impact on performance. ERG Models are probabilistic models presented by locally determined explanatory variables and that can effectively identify structural properties of networks. It simplifies a complex structure down to a combination of basic parameters such as 2-star, 3-star, and triangle. By applying our proposed mapping approach and ERG modeling technique to the 2009 Royal Commission Report dataset, we construct and model emergency management response networks. We notice that alternative-k-star, and alternative-k-two-path parameters of ERG have impact on bushfire response. The findings of this study may be utilized by emergency managers or administrators for developing an emergency practice culture to optimize response within an emergency management context.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)68-79
Number of pages12
JournalKnowledge-Based Systems
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes


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