Resilient Information Management (RIM) System

Abstract and Objective
In this project, we design and implement a resilient information management (RIM) system, which is applicable under network-isolated environment. RIM can be setup immediately after disasters to serve people as an information collection and distribution system in disaster area, despite of the Internet unavailability.

Sustem Overview

  1. Basic Communication Infrastructure

  2. We first need to build a wireless network infrastructure that can provide communications without internet. Here, we call the communication functions and data sharing functions realized by the movable ICT-unit developed by NTT as an “information center”. Both WiFi-based wireless communication and a Linux server are available on the ICT-unit. Once a user enters the service area of an information center, he/she can communicate freely with the server or the other users within the same server’s wireless coverage.

  3. Uniform and Friendly Client
  4. The data in each information center are maintained and shared by all participants, e.g., local residents, governors and volunteers. Accordingly, a friendly client that allows any people to easily share and acquire information from the servers shall be developed. To deal with the diversities of smart devices, the client shall support different platforms, e.g., iOS and Android.

  5. Uniform Database System
  6. The servers in the information centers are responsible for reserving various salvation information such as food, clothes, medicines, health conditions of residents, volunteers’ skills and locations, etc. A database system shall be adopted. The data structures and descriptions for all possible information to be used in the databases shall be defined. All the ICT-units will be integrated with such databases in a uniform format such that the data can be shared among different information centers. The databases will play an important supporting role in the RIM system.

  7. Smart Decision-making Module
  8. Besides reservation of these data, RIM system shall be also able to match the material supplies and demands fairly and efficiently or provides suggestions to the rescue activities according to the gathered casualty information. To this end, after the implementation of the database system, an information analysis and decision-making module shall be developed on the server side.

  9. Intermittent Server Synchronization
  10. Although the information centers are distributed in some isolated areas, they are not independent. If the information between these databases can be synchronized, more valuable information will be available in each information center. Due to the lack of continuous Internet connection, we cannot synchronize them in real time. Instead, we plan to design an intermittent synchronization method by introducing the smartphones moving between different information centers as the inter-server communication media. A client can automatically download some data from a server and upload them to another one. The whole process does not require special involvement of people. Furthermore, observing that device-to-device (D2D) communication capabilities like Bluetooth are available in most mobile devices nowadays, RIM will explore such capabilities to improve the synchronization efficiency.