Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 32138
Physics of Decision for Polling Place Management: A Case Study from the 2020 USA Presidential Election

Authors: Nafe Moradkhani, Frederick Benaben, Benoit Montreuil, Ali Vatankhah Barenji, Dima Nazzal


In the context of the global pandemic, the practical management of the 2020 presidential election in the USA was a strong concern. To anticipate and prepare for this election accurately, one of the main challenges was to confront: (i) forecasts of voter turnout, (ii) capacities of the facilities and, (iii) potential configuration options of resources. The approach chosen to conduct this anticipative study consists of collecting data about forecasts and using simulation models to work simultaneously on resource allocation and facility configuration of polling places in Fulton County, Georgia’s largest county. This article presents the results of the simulations of such places facing pre-identified potential risks. These results are oriented towards the efficiency of these places according to different criteria (health, trust, comfort). Then a dynamic framework is introduced to describe risks as physical forces perturbing the efficiency of the observed system. Finally, the main benefits and contributions resulting from this simulation campaign are presented.

Keywords: performance, decision support, simulation, artificial intelligence, risk management, election, pandemics, information system

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 402


[1] Geraldine Macdonald, Kenneth Macdonald, Safeguarding: A Case for Intelligent Risk Management, The British Journal of Social Work, Volume 40, Issue 4, June 2010, Pages 1174–1191,
[2] Bénaben, Frédérick & Montreuil, Benoit & Faugere, Louis & Lauras, Matthieu & Gou, Juanqiong & Mu, Wenxin. (2020). A Physics-Based Theory to Navigate Across Risks and Opportunities tn the Performance Space: Application to Crisis Management. 10.24251/HICSS.2020.267.
[3] Moradkhani N., Faugère L., Jeany J., Lauras M., Montreuil B., Benaben F. (2020) A Physics-Based Enterprise Modeling Approach for Risks and Opportunities Management. In: Grabis J., Bork D. (eds) The Practice of Enterprise Modeling. PoEM 2020. Lecture Notes in Business Information Processing, vol 400. Springer, Cham.
[4] Benaben, F., Faugere, L., Montreuil, B., Lauras, M., Moradkhani, N., Cerabona, T., ... & Mu, W. (2021). Instability is the norm! A physics-based theory to navigate among risks and opportunities. Enterprise Information Systems, 1-28.
[5] Dustin Chambers Photojournalist. (2020, December 17). Why Do Nonwhite Georgia Voters Have to Wait in Line for Hours? Too Few Polling Places.
[6] Gardner A., Ye Hee Lee M., Willis H. and M. Glionna J. (2020, June 10). In Georgia, primary day snarled by long lines, problems with voting machines — a potential preview of November. The Washington Post.
[7] Johnson, A. F., Pollock, W., & Rauhaus, B. (2020). Mass casualty event scenarios and political shifts: 2020 election outcomes and the US COVID-19 pandemic. Administrative Theory & Praxis, 42(2), 249-264.
[8] Blendon, R. J., & Benson, J. M. (2020). Implications of the 2020 Election for US Health Policy. New England Journal of Medicine, 383(18), e105.
[9] Zoet, M., Welke, R., Versendaal, J., Ravesteyn, P.: Aligning risk management and compliance considerations with business process development. E-Comm. Web Technol. 5692, 157 (2009)
[10] Lave, L. B. 1986. “Approaches to Risk Management: A Critique.” Risk Evaluation and Management. 1986. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
[11] Ho, S. S. M., and R. H. Pike. 1992. “The Use of Risk Analysis Techniques in Capital Investment Appraisal.” In Risk: Analysis, Assessment and Management, edited by J. Ansell and F. Wharton. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
[12] Bell, T. 1989. “Managing Risk in Large Complex Systems – Special Report.” In Spectrum.
[13] Covello, V. T., and M. W. Merkhofer. 1993. Risk Assessment Methods – Approaches for Assessing Health and Environmental Risks. New York, NY: Plenum Press.
[14] Kletz, T. A. 1990. Critical Aspects of Safety and Loss Prevention. London: Butterworths.
[15] Davis, J. P., Eisenhardt, K. M., & Bingham, C. B. (2007). Developing theory through simulation methods. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 480-499.
[16] Müller M., Pfahl D. (2008) Simulation Methods. In: Shull F., Singer J., Sjøberg D. I. K. (eds) Guide to Advanced Empirical Software Engineering. Springer, London.
[17] Fioretti, G. (2013). Agent-based simulation models in organization science. Organizational Research Methods, 16(2), 227-242.