Operations research award presented to joint Coast Guard and USC academic team

5th Coast Guard District News
PORTSMOUTH, Va. – U.S. Coast Guard and University of Southern California researchers were presented the Daniel H. Wagner Prize award for their research paper April 8 at the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences Spring Analytics Conference in San Antonio, Texas.

The presentation for the winning paper on “A Deployed Quantal Response Based Patrol Planning System for the US Coast Guard” is published on the INFORMS video learning center webpage. The paper discusses Port Resilience for Operational/Tactical Enforcement to Combat Terrorism, a game theory application for port security.

In winning the Wagner Prize when they were selected November, 2012, Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, lead for the Coast Guard team, expressed his excitement at their most recent success.

“The prize underscores the power of partnerships between academia and the Coast Guard,” he said. “Winning is humbling in that we have competed against the most brilliant and innovative minds in the world.”

In writing the paper and applying the program on real scenarios, the Coast Guard-USC team developed a cohesive solution towards a common goal in developing a more secure Maritime Transportation System. The paper was written as part of the National Center for Risk and Economic Analysis of Terrorism Events research effort.

The academic research team members are:

Coast Guard: Lt Craig Baldwin, Dr. Joseph DiRenzo, Lt. Cmdr. Ben Maule, Garrett Meyer and Lt. Kathryn Moretti

University of Southern California and Universidad de Chile: Bo An, Fernando Ordonez, Milind Tambe, Eric Shieh and Rong Yang

The impetus behind PROTECT is to improve the Coast Guard’s security missions in protecting and patrolling U.S. coasts, ports, and inland waterways from increased risks such as terrorism threats and drug trafficking. This program was deployed successfully in Boston, New York, and Los Angeles/Long Beach to provide intelligent (game-theoretic) randomization of Coast Guard patrols to protect important targets at the ports.


from left to right: Dr. Milind Tambe, University of Southern California; Coast Guard Lt. Kathryn Moretti; Dr. Fernando Ordonez, Universidad de Chile.

The Wagner Prize recognizes research that provides the critical link between the laboratory and the real world. Dr. Wagner focused on strong mathematics applied to practical problems, supported by clear and intelligible writing. The Wagner Prize supports those principles by recognizing strong writing, sound analytical content and verifiable successes during practice.

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