Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


ATHENA Report Summary

Project ID: 313220
Funded under: FP7-SECURITY
Country: United Kingdom

Periodic Report Summary 2 - ATHENA (ATHENA)

Project Context and Objectives:
The ATHENA project brings together major user communities with world leading experts in crisis management and experts and technology developers of mobile and social media use and development. The goal of the ATHENA project is to deliver two major outputs that will enable and encourage users of new media to contribute to the security of citizens in crisis situations and for search and rescue actions:
• First, a set of best practice guidelines for LEAs, police, first responders and citizens for the use of new media, supporting tools and technologies in crisis situations
• Second, a suite of prototype software tools to enhance the ability of LEAs, police, first responders and citizens in their use of mobile and smart devices in crisis situations This project will explore how the huge popularity of new communication media, particularly web-based social media such as Twitter and Facebook, and the prolific use of high-tech mobile devices, can be harnessed to provide efficient and effective communication and enhanced situational awareness during a crisis.
The ATHENA system is a crisis communication and management system that encourages and enables the public to participate, in an ethical way, in the process of emergency communication to contribute to the security of the citizen in crisis situations and for search and rescue actions.
ATHENA makes use of new social media and high tech mobile devices to efficiently and effectively acquire, analyse and disseminate crisis information and intelligence that is appropriate and useful to LEAs/police/first responders and the public.

Project Results:
Project ATHENA’s second 12 months has included some major milestones. The main achievements (although not exhaustive) include;
- Completion of the core user requirement report.
- Recommendations and co-design reviews of service and system elements.
- Set of modular contemporary case studies linked to usage cases with comparative analysis.
- Completion of the integrative evaluation report.
- Athena website, quarterly newsletter and annual conference.
- Completion of the Athena exercise testing plan.
- The planning, execution and evaluation of the first integrative prototype testing phase.
- The planning of the second integrative prototype testing phase.
WP1: Throughout the second reporting period of the project, the management team have continued to maintain a close and productive relationship with the consortium partners ensuring that the programme of work is carried out effectively and efficiently enabling an environment where any issues, deviations or feedback can be shared and actioned at the earliest opportunity. West Yorkshire Police also arranged and facilitated a European conference in Rome, Italy at the Fire Brigade Headquarters inviting a number of projects whose focus is on aiding citizens in crisis, the use of social media and establishing ethical and legal guidelines. The conference brought together 150 delegates representing 15 member states and 9 FP7/H2020 projects. This provided a great opportunity for future co-creation and collaboration and provided a forum for law enforcement end-users, academics and private industry to share their experiences and considered best practice. The event was a huge success and we have proposed to have a similar event in 2016.
WP2: Throughout the second 12 months of the project work package 2 has focused on completing two main outputs. The first of these (Task 2.1) is focused on gathering information from and about user groups to support other tasks within this Work Package, as well as to provide necessary information for other work packages within the ATHENA. The second of these tasks was 2.4:
Co-design of integrated service and system where users and other stakeholders were engaged with developers in the co-design of the integrated system and services depends heavily on work done in task 2.3: “Iterative Co-design of service and system elements Identification of case study to co-design un-integrated development elements.”
WP3: There has been significant progress through the completion of Deliverables 3.2 and 3.4. Deliverable 3.2 draws on the findings of Deliverable 8.3 (D8.3) ‘Evaluation and validation of the prototype against WP2 requirements. It must be noted however that the social media element of the system was only partially tested (D8.3 pp.28, 40). As such this report will address the more general recommendations of D8.3 as they relate to best-practice guidelines for social media usage and the current Athena user requirements. It will also provide a comparative assessment of the current user-requirements and prototype against the latest COSMIC (Contribution of Social Media). Deliverable 3.4 addresses the current Athena requirements list and prototype in light of current best practice recommendations for the use of social media in crises. Although there are facets of Athena that conform to current best practice, this report also highlights numerous areas where greater consideration needs to be given in order to make best use of Athena’s social media presence.
WP4: Overall the progress against the WP objectives for WP4 has been good with no significant deviations from the plan as stated in the Athena Description of Work. There has been significant progress in the development of the SAS components and the construction of categorization, concept and sentiment taxonomies. An additional plug-in has been added to SAS IRS which directly posts data to the Concept Miner which provides the core CIPC functionalities to the overall system. The Concept Miner is responsible for the fusing and processing of all incoming data – currently this is just the crawled data, but it will soon include Athena-generated reports and communications.
WP5: In Year 2 of the Project, WP5 accomplished building the first integrated prototype of the mobile app. This version of the app contains featured outlined in the Feature Requirements and fully communicates with the CCCID for those features as necessary. Year 3 of the project will complete implementing of features, further integration with Athena System, and extensive user testing for optimal user experience.
WP6: Overall the progress against the WP objectives for WP4 has been good with no significant deviations from the plan as stated in the Athena Description of Work. There has been significant progress in a number of areas including continuous server integration, security, dashboard and map enhancements.
WP7: During the second 12 month period a number of internal intermediate deliverables have been submitted (D7.1, D7.2 & D7.4) including a description about resilience against distributed denial of service attacks (recommendation in the first EC review).
Two initial use case narratives based on the Earthquake scenario described in D2.3 have been utilized to make the interactions between the different actors explicit. Social media use case narrative chosen for initial development work.
WP8: Months 12 to 24 has been a very productive time for work package 8 and significant achievements have been made during this period including developing an exercise framework, Preparing and exercising the first integrated prototype and evaluation and analysis of the exercise results.
WP9: The Athena consortium have created a number of opportunities to disseminate Athena and continue to look at innovative ways to network and share information with both professionals and citizens.

Potential Impact:
Societal Impacts:
Implementation of the ATHENA solution and guidelines will have an immediate direct and indirect societal impact. Directly, ATHENA shall significantly change the expectations of the ordinary citizen on first responders. With the streamlining and integration of communication, there shall be a greater expectation of professionalism, responsibility and accountability. Indirectly, the implementation of ATHENA may lead to greater parity between communities in terms of response.
With better communication and increased integration, previously underserved communities are more likely to see improved services and emphases upon their security and safety.
Impact on First Responders:
The program will influence first responders in three key ways including research, practice and training as follows;
i) RESEARCH opportunities will come from both social science and quantitative metrics, where response time improvements can be measurable;
ii) PRACTICE of the integration and connectivity that shall occur between first responder agencies shall build upon current bridges that exist. A natural outcome shall be a greater understanding and appreciation of role differentiation;
iii) TRAINING impacts shall be significant, with the demonstrated need for professional collaboration and enhanced interoperability in communication pre-crisis, during crisis and post-crisis.
Because of the record produced through these communications during crisis, there will be greatly improved ability to analyse and assess after-action response thereby ensuring that lessons for continued development s are captured by first responder agencies to better protect the safety and security of the ordinary citizen in future crisis.
Technical and Scientific Impacts:
- Crowd Mapping: The ATHENA platform will have the ability to crowd source using data from multiple social media channels. Crowd sourcing allows tasks typically performed by 'employees' now to be performed by a collection of individuals within a crowd who have no particular connection outside of the ability to perform the desired function. The response concepts that will be developed by ATHENA will generate information and make it accessible to decision makers and emergency responders in a timelier manner and ultimately may contribute to the resolution of an incident in a quicker and more efficient manner. The ATHENA platform will allow emergency managers to utilise public gatherings and generated information strategically.
- GIS: The ATHENA Geographic information system is a system designed to capture, store, manipulate, analyse, manage, and present all types of geographically referenced data. The impact of the ATHENA GIS will be the ability to view large sets of data in three dimensions from multiple viewpoints. It will open up new horizons in terms of applicability with the capability to query a surface, and create a realistic perspective image that drapes raster and vector data over a surface / area.
- Intelligence Dashboard: The intelligence dashboard is a real time data visualisation tool that will consolidate intelligence information from multiple sources onto a highly customisable platform. The added value will be that it will indicate the status at a specific point in time Network management, endpoint security, remote backup will all form part of the application.
Project No.: 313220
Period number: 1st
Ref: 313220_ATHENA_Periodic_Report-11_20150223_204035_CET.pdf
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- Visual Analytics: The strategic impact of the ATHENA project will be its visual analytics and the ability to demonstrate how social media data can be used strategically. It will provide a platform for emergency managers to view unfiltered messages, which is critical to aid decision making. Providing a state of the art solution application to meet the growing needs of practitioners and their teams.

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United Kingdom
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