Quantitative risk analysis for homeland security resource allocation
Reifel, Christopher S.
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Defense against terrorism both at home and abroad has become a priority in the United States. As a result, resource allocation has also increased. However, even as resources increase, they are still finite. So the dilemma becomes how to efficiently allocate these limited resources. Currently the data, while abundant, is confusing. One suggested method is to allocate resources based on risk. However, there is virtually no guidance on how that risk should be defined or what the parameters are in a risk-based approach. Also, there is no flow of information model that outlines how to communicate to decision makers the risk reduction potential of each policy alternative. This thesis investigates the usefulness of quantitative risk analysis as an approach to determine the allocation of counter-terrorism resources. This approach develops a simulation-based quantitative risk assessment method that allows for subjective elements and uncertainties. The risk assessment information is then integrated with the cost of the alternatives to yield a risk-reduction-cost-tradeoff curve that guides decision makers with resource allocation decisions. This approach is demonstrated by using the Port Security Grant Program as an example. We find that the approach provides the decision maker the information required to discover robust resource allocation solutions.
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