Get access

Agent-Based Simulation for Human-Induced Hazard Analysis


Address correspondence to William M. Bulleit, Professor and Chair, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Michigan Tech, 1400 Townsend Drive, Houghton, MI, 49931-1295, USA;


Terrorism could be treated as a hazard for design purposes. For instance, the terrorist hazard could be analyzed in a manner similar to the way that seismic hazard is handled. No matter how terrorism is dealt with in the design of systems, the need for predictions of the frequency and magnitude of the hazard will be required. And, if the human-induced hazard is to be designed for in a manner analogous to natural hazards, then the predictions should be probabilistic in nature. The model described in this article is a prototype model that used agent-based modeling (ABM) to analyze terrorist attacks. The basic approach in this article of using ABM to model human-induced hazards has been preliminarily validated in the sense that the attack magnitudes seem to be power-law distributed and attacks occur mostly in regions where high levels of wealth pass through, such as transit routes and markets. The model developed in this study indicates that ABM is a viable approach to modeling socioeconomic-based infrastructure systems for engineering design to deal with human-induced hazards.