A 2011-2012 NSF-Funded project to create a website for comparing the performance of different 2D probability maps using hundreds of actual cases (from ISRID).  See this post.

  • MORSS 2012 Poster [pdf]
Twardy, C. R., Jones, N., Goodrich, M. A., Koester, R. J., Cawi, E., Lin, L., & Sava, E. (2012, June). MapScore: A portal for scoring probability maps. Conference Poster presented at the Military Operations Research Society Symposium, Colorado Springs.


  • WASARCON & NASAR 2012 Slides (our portion) [pdf]

Zeeman, R., Cawi, E., Lin, L., Jones, N., Twardy, C., Goodrich, M., & Morse, B. (2012, July 9). Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in Search & Rescue. Conference Presentation presented at the National Association of Search & Rescue 2012, Lake Tahoe.

Also presented at the 2012 Washington State Search & Rescue Conference, Goldendale, WA May 18-20.

  • VASARCON 2012 Slides [pdf]
Cawi, E., Jones, N., & Twardy, C. R. (2012, April 21). MapScore: Probability Map Evaluation for Search & Rescue. Conference Presentation presented at the Virginia Search & Rescue Conference, Holiday Lake, VA.


Sweep Width

Jack Frost and I ran the Estimated Sweep Width course for Rick Toman's Detection in the Berkshires in mid-2006.  I've also collaborated with Bob Koester and Ken Chiacchia on a summary paper analyzing the relationship between full-out sweep width (which takes a lot of effort to measure) and a simple average detection range (e.g. AMDR, Rd, or Critical Separation -- these are all slightly different but any could be used).

  • MORSS 2011 slides [large file; ask if really interested]
  • MORSS 2012 poster  [pdf]
Twardy, C.R., Chiacchia, K., & Koester, R.J. (2012, June). Sweep Width for Land Search. Conference Poster presented at the Military Operations Research Society Symposium, Colorado Springs.



Created in 2001 to showcase the capabilities of SORAL, this is a very robust text-based Windows/Unix program to do optimal resource allocation for either single resource pools (using the Charnes-Cooper algorithm) or multiple-resources (using a very fast algorithm by Alan Washburn). Originally developed by a team of three students for a senior project, it was updated in 2005.  The authors are the very talented: André Oboler, Gareth Thompson, and Michael Eldridge.

*** Search and Rescue 2001 ***
***       Main Menu        ***

[1] Resource Properties
[2] Save Project
[3] Map Area Properties
[4] Assignment Adjustments
[5] View Current Resource Assignments
[6] Request Resource Allocation Advice
[7] Update POAs using current Resource Allocation
[8] About AGM SAR

[0] Exit
Please enter an option :


  • Excellent documentation
  • Both menu mode and batch mode
  • Save and reload state
  • Complete session log
  • Easy readable text format for input files
  • Very robust

In 2005, the SARBayes project acquired the rights to distribute AGM-SAR under the Gnu GPL license.

Email if interested in helping integrate this with Don Ferguson's MapSAR Extensions.


SORAL is a tool for SAR programmers: a clean, modular, object-oriented, open-source API for optimum resource allocation for land SAR. It does the hard math so you and your SAR program don't have to. SORAL takes a probability (POA) map and some information about resource availabilities and effectiveness, and shows how to maximize the probability of success. It offers a variety of algorithms for different conditions. It also allows user-defined allocations and computes the Coverage, POD, total POS, and the new probability map that result from any allocation.

It is written in C++, and has an API User's Guide, a Developer's Guide, and extensive source-code documentation. If you are a programmer wishing to use SORAL, read the User's Guide (the public interface and how to use it). If you wish to write algorithms for SORAL or modify SORAL, read the Developer's Guide.

SORAL is available on our Downloads page. It is available under the GNU General Public License and also under very reasonable licenses for proprietary (closed-source) redistribution.

In addition to the C++ code, we have implemented the Washburn algorithm in MATLAB. That code also runs under Octave (Octave is a GNU free software implementation of Matlab 5.0). See the Downloads page.

 Probability Mapper

SARBayes Probability Mapper (PM) was a Microsoft Windows application to generate 2D probability maps from models of lost person behavior.  PM performed Bayesian network inference to assign probabilities to user-defined regions within the search area, and then suggested and received resource allocations, displaying this and other useful case information graphically. It was written by Adam Golding and as an extension of his honours project at Monash University.

The AGM team used Microsoft Access to link PM with SORAL, as a proof of concept.  Any real development of a 2D mapper should use modern mapping or GIS libraries [like MapSAR]. PM was never operational software.  And while the AGM wrapper around SORAL was very robust, it really needed a GUI to be generally useful.

Probability Mapper used the Netica API to read the Bayesian Network models of lost-person behavior. Netica is copyright Norsys Inc., who graciously allowed us to include their API with our program without paying license fees, so long as we do not charge for the program.

Some very old news about PM, recovered from the old site:

 20 Dec. 2002: Adam has reworked his code and has a good base package in Visual C++. He and André will work on interfacing it with SORAL this (Australian) summer, so that it can serve as a demo.

In-progress binaries and source are temporarily available from Adam's website. (Wayback Machine link showing screenshots)


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