167 Simulating Self-Assembly of Tornado Storm Chasers Using Agent-Based Modeling

Monday, 13 January 2020
Hall B (Boston Convention and Exhibition Center)
Paul Roebber, Univ. of Wisconsin−Milwaukee, Milwaukee, WI; and A. J. Moxon, A. Seimon, and J. Allen

Handout (443.3 kB)

Recently, based on detailed study of the 2013 El Reno, Oklahoma tornado, some authors have suggested that autonomously operating storm chasers can self-assemble into spatially distributed formations that are well-suited for comprehensive storm observation. Since such formations are the objective of research-based field studies focused on scientific data collection, this finding suggests that there may be some potential for “crowdsourcing” this activity, and dramatically increasing the availability of observational data. There are, however, many practical and logistical issues that must be addressed before such an outcome could be expected to provide useful, research-quality data.

As a first step towards that outcome, the present study provides an initial analysis of the potential for such self-assembly for a variety of storm conditions within a regular road network. This is accomplished using an agent-based model where each storm chase vehicle is an individual, autonomous agent behaving specific rules regarding personal risk tolerance and path-finding relative to the road network and storm evolution. The details of the model and the results of the analysis will be presented, along with plans for further elaboration of the model towards a fully realistic framework.

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