SEMA4A: An ontology for emergency notification systems accessibility

A. Malizia, T. Onorati, P. Diaz, I. Aedo, F. Astorga-Paliza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Providing alert communication in emergency situations is vital to reduce the number of victims. Reaching this goal is challenging due to users' diversity: people with disabilities, elderly and children, and other vulnerable groups. Notifications are critical when an emergency scenario is going to happen (e.g. a typhoon approaching) so the ability to transmit notifications to different kind of users is a crucial feature for such systems. In this work an ontology was developed by investigating different sources: accessibility guidelines, emergency response systems, communication devices and technologies, taking into account the different abilities of people to react to different alarms (e.g. mobile phone vibration as an alarm for deafblind people). We think that the proposed ontology addresses the information needs for sharing and integrating emergency notification messages over distinct emergency response information systems providing accessibility under different conditions and for different kind of users.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3380-3391
Number of pages12
JournalExpert Systems with Applications
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010


  • Accessibility
  • Emergency response information systems (ERIS)
  • HCI
  • Ontology management
  • Universal design


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