University of Southern California



CREATE's research activities cover the four interconnected modelling and analysis areas:


CREATE's research framework, extends fundamental and applied knowledge in significant new ways. In risk analysis, it expands both the theoretical underpinnings and practical tools for modeling the adaptive adversary, and increases the interaction with the intelligence community to strengthen the value and usage of risk-based tools in lead-scenario evaluation and prioritization. The new framework also adds key innovations in the application of risk and decision analysis tools and uncertainty reduction via expert elicitation, allowing more applicable and increasingly realistic risk assessment.

CREATE's framework also recognizes the important role of risk perception and communication in informing policy decision. Therefore the framework incorporates public and decision-maker risk perception surveys, new survey mechanisms to improve the fidelity of data collection efforts, and accounts for the potential value of risk inoculation messages in influencing public responses.

In economics, the framework expands previous work in quantifying the role of resilience in reducing economic consequences and in advancing the sophistication of the Computable General Equilibrium (CGE) modeling needed to quantify the totality of these effects; this framework will enable a broader and more accurate accounting of behavioral economics influences emerging from the risk perception and communication thrust, and in quantifying the role and impact of insurance in risk mitigation. The new framework further accounts for the behavioral economic costs and influence of public risk perception and risk communication messages, including how these are in turn affected by the results of risk analysis.

Finally, CREATE's framework accounts for the important feedback role that open knowledge of risk management resource allocation decisions have in influencing the adaptive adversary and their supporting terrorist enterprise. It also explicitly accounts for the impact on the public's risk perception of risk management effectiveness, and the impact of how threats, risks and consequences are communicated. The result is a risk management framework with policy impact applicability across the breadth of an all-hazards DHS.

Through these four themes, CREATE provides a comprehensive research and development program that creates models, tools, evaluation methods, software, targeted analyses and communication protocols to enhance the operations of homeland security agencies, making them more efficient and effective at improving the nation's security. At the same time, CREATE conducts the fundamental research that is necessary to advance the science of risk analysis, economics and operations research focused on the challenges of intelligent and adaptive adversaries.

In addition to these four research themes, CREATE strongly supports the transition of research results to operational units in the form of user-driven models, tools and enhanced capabilities through its E2E research transition model project. E2E, variously known as End-to-End, Excellence-to-Enterprise, Engage-to-Excel, etc., supports all four research themes and the Education program, developing software products and Executive education transitioned/delivered to the DHS enterprise.

CREATE's projects are organized within this framework, and current year projects are shown below.

CREATE FY2014 Projects


P.I. Name


1. Risk Assessment


Anthony Barrett

Analyzing Current and Future Catastrophic Risks from Emerging-Threat Technologies


Vicki Bier

Calibration of Expert Judgments in Counterterrorism Risk Assessment


Richard John
Heather Rosoff

Proxy Decision Analysis for Adaptive Adversaries: Validation and Simplification


Detlof von Winterfeldt

Designing Layered Defenses Against Terrorism with Risk Analysis


Jun Zhuang

Modeling Attacker-Defender Games with Risk Preferences

2. Risk Perception and Communication


William Burns
Paul Slovic

Modeling the Dynamics of Risk Perception and Fear: Examining Amplifying Mechanisms and Their Consequences


Robin Dillon-Merrill

Individuals' Responses to Near-Miss Events over Time


Richard John
Heather Rosoff

Systematic Exploration of Public Response to Experimentally Manipulated Disaster Events (Terror and Non-terror) Using Video-based Scenario Simulation


Timothy Sellnow

Synthesizing Instruction and Inoculation in Tailored Crisis Communication Messages of Self-Efficacy

3. Economics Assessment


Peter Dixon

Economy-wide modeling for analysis of major disruptive events: terrorism, natural disasters and accidents


Adam Rose

CBP US Virgin Islands Study


Howard Kunreuther
Erwann Michel-Kerjan

Enhancing Post-Disaster Economic Recovery: How Improved Flood Insurance Mechanisms Can Help


Adam Rose

Economic Consequences of Terrorism (3 Integrated Proposals)

4. Risk Management / Operations Research


Henry Willis

Using Risk Analysis to Assess the Value of Improved Biosurveillance


Isaac Maya

Support for DHS Risk Executive Steering Committee


Milind Tambe

Game Theory for Security


Lloyd Mitchell

Working Together for A Safer Tomorrow

5. Research Transition -- E2E


Erroll Southers

E2E Transition Pipeline


Michael Orosz

Adaptive Real-Time Seaport Security (DynaPortSec) - Integrated PortSec, Game Theory and Adaptive Adversary