A different software

The recognition of seismic hazard and risk analysis as a critical link in the reduction of casualties and damages due to earthquakes, led to a rapid rise in demand for accurate, reliable and flexible risk assessment tools and software. In January 2009, GEM launched a pilot project named GEM1, which had the objective of developing the initial IT infrastructure of the platform. As part of this effort, a number of existing hazard and risk software applications were reviewed:

  • GEM Technical Report Danciu et. al. [link to be added soon]
  • GEM Technical Report Crowley [link to be added soon]

Some of the key features of the OpenQuake engine that we feel distinguish it from some other software include:

  • The scientific code is developed with an open source (agile) philosophy and is robustly tested;
  • Workflows include end-to-end hazard and risk, hazard-only and risk-only calculations;
  • Uncertainties in vulnerability models are propagated to losses in all calculators;
  • Spatial ground motion residual correlation and vulnerability uncertainty correlation can both be explicitly modelled;
  • Scenario-based and stochastic event set-based hazard and risk methods are available within the same software;
  • The flexible and modular structure allows user-defined models of hazard, exposure, fragility and vulnerability to be used;
  • The engine can be used on a single processor laptop as well as on a cloud of computers.