Modeling an ontology on accessible evacuation routes for emergencies

T. Onorati, A. Malizia, P. Diaz, I. Aedo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Citations (Scopus)


Providing alert communication in emergency situations is vital to reduce the number of victims. However, this is a challenging goal for researchers and professionals due to the diverse pool of prospective users, e.g. people with disabilities as well as other vulnerable groups. Moreover, in the event of an emergency situation, many people could become vulnerable because of exceptional circumstances such as stress, an unknown environment or even visual impairment (e.g. fire causing smoke). Within this scope, a crucial activity is to notify affected people about safe places and available evacuation routes. In order to address this need, we propose to extend an ontology, called SEMA4A (Simple EMergency Alert 4 [for] All), developed in a previous work for managing knowledge about accessibility guidelines, emergency situations and communication technologies. In this paper, we introduce a semi-automatic technique for knowledge acquisition and modeling on accessible evacuation routes. We introduce a use case to show applications of the ontology and conclude with an evaluation involving several experts in evacuation procedures. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7124-7134
Number of pages11
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number16
Early online date9 Jun 2014
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2014


  • Accessibility
  • Emergency evacuation route
  • Knowledge management
  • Ontology engineering


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