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DS4DM Coffee Talk

Leveraging mutual catastrophe insurance to establish horizontal collaborations in disaster operations management


Nov 14, 2023   11:00 AM — 12:00 PM

Hani Zbib Université du Québec à Montréal, Canada

Hani Zbib

Presentation on YouTube.

In recent years, the world has witnessed an unprecedented increase in the frequency, intensity, and spread of natural disasters. Enhancing disaster resilience requires affected communities and emergency management agencies to strengthen their disaster preparedness capacities to ensure fast and efficient emergency response post-disasters. One commonly applied preparedness policy is prepositioning, where strategic reserves (e.g., food, water, medicine, rescue supplies) are pre-stored at selected locations for future use. However, building a prepositioning network is expensive. Stakeholders facing similar disaster risks could benefit from establishing a horizontal collaboration by pooling risks, and sharing the network, its resources, and its costs. The design of such collaborations necessitates the integration of logistical and financial considerations and the identification of effective risk pooling, and cost/benefit sharing mechanisms. In this talk, I will present how we can adapt concepts from the mutual catastrophe insurance literature into an effective optimization framework to design multi-year horizontal collaborations. In mutual catastrophe insurance, a set of policyholders contribute premiums to a shared capital pool administered by an insurer for subsequent use when disaster loss occurs. The framework incorporates four integrated decision-making components: contractual design, the prepositioning network design, the management of the insurer’s capital pool, and premiums allocation. I will discuss how each component can be modeled from an Operations Research perspective, the various possible contract types between the insurer and policyholders and their operational implications, and how to solve the resulting large-scale nonlinear multi-stage stochastic program using a tailored solution approach based on Benders’ decomposition.

Biography: Hani Zbib is a professor in Operations Management at the University of Quebec in Montreal (UQAM). Originally from Lebanon, he has a Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering from the American University of Beirut in Lebanon, and a Master of Science in Engineering in Transport and Logistics from the Technical University of Denmark. He obtained his PhD degree in Economics and Business Economics in 2018 from Aarhus University in Denmark. During his PhD, he worked on the optimisation of waste management systems in collaboration with six Danish municipalities. After his PhD, he came to Montreal for a Postdoc at HEC Montreal under the supervision of P. Gilbert Laporte and P. Marie-Ève Rancourt on the topic of disaster operations management before becoming a professor at UQAM since 2021. He is a member of CIRRELT, the Research Center on Intellegence2 in Complex Systems (CRI2GS), and the Resilient Cities Research Pole at UQAM. Hani’s research revolves around the optimisation of sustainable operations management and public sector logistics. More specifically, his focus is on the applications of waste management, pre- and post-disaster operations management, collaborative logistics, and emissions and energy efficiency considerations in the supply chain. He applies different optimization methods to solve the resulting operational problems in the aforementioned fields, such as exact methods, data-driven heuristics, and machine learning.

Federico Bobbio organizer
Defeng Liu organizer


Hybrid activity at GERAD
Zoom et salle 4488
Pavillon André-Aisenstadt
Campus de l'Université de Montréal
2920, chemin de la Tour

Montréal Québec H3T 1J4

Associated organization