>> Back to Challenge main page

Use Case :  Filtering out priority information

The purpose of this use case is to help the Challenge participant understand the context and concrete details of one of the problems tackled by this Innovation Challenge. This use case is not exhaustive. Many other problems to solve are part of this Innovation Challenge, even if not detailed through a Use Case.


First responders in crisis situations are expected to analyze new information and make decisions in a matter of minutes, or even seconds. Given the speed of this decision making process, only a limited amount of information can be taken into account. Therefore, information pushed to the first responder should be limited to the minimum necessary, giving absolute priority to relevance, against the quantity of information. Typically, too much information is made available to the decision maker; which undermines the decision making process.

The situation

In order to filter out the most relevant information, it is first necessary to understand what makes information more relevant. The most relevant information belong to two categories: live threatening, and mission altering information.

Information of the Live Threatening category are those that would trigger immediate action in order to save the life of the subject or other people. For example, informing the fire-fighter that the roof of the building he stands in is about to fall is a critical information that will trigger his rushing out of the building. In a military combat situation, the information about civilians about to cross the field would trigger the tactical leader to command “cease fire”.

Information in the Mission Altering category are those that change the main assumptions on which are based the current action plan, and trigger a change of plan.

In the firefighter example, informing him that the people he intends to rescue are not where it was initially assumed would trigger a change of plan, namely to go in another direction.

In the military example, informing the leader that ammunitions are running lower than expected would trigger a modification of the action plan, or, at least, of the fire pattern.

The problem

The first responders in crisis situation don’t have a system that pushes to them only the most relevant information.