2. Atlantic County, NJ


A number of members of the SimCenter Team assisted with this testbed’s development and its documentation: Adam Zsarnoczay, Ajay Harish, Barbaros Cetiner, Charles Wang, Claudio Perez, Joanna Zou, Kuanshi Zhong, Stevan Gavrilovic, and Wael Elhaddad. The testbed conceptualization was guided by Tracy Kijewski-Correa (University of Notre Dame), with implementation supervised by Frank McKenna (University of California Berkeley). Additional guidance was offered by Greg Deierlein (Stanford University), Andrew Kennedy (University of Notre Dame), and Matt Schoettler (University of California Berkeley).

The Hazard Characterization leveraged models, software and simulations executed by the following groups, whose collaboration is greatly appreciated:

The NJcoast project, with storm surge surrogate model developed by Alexandros Taflanidis (University of Notre Dame) in collaboration with Andrew Kennedy (University of Notre Dame) and wind field model contributed by Teng Wu (University at Buffalo) Superstorm Sandy ADCIRC hindcast results for storm surge provided by Joannes Westerink (University of Notre Dame) and wind fields made available by Peter Vickery (Applied Research Associates).

Additional information required for Asset Description and Asset Representation was made possible through the ongoing collaboration between the University of Notre dame and the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (NJ DCA) through the NJcoast project. NJ DCA’s Keith Henderson’s sustained support and collaboration is greatly appreciated.


This documentation is intended to introduce the implementation of the SimCenter’s hurricane regional loss modeling workflow in the context of Atlantic City (Atlantic County), New Jersey. While certain aspects of the workflow are unchanged in a given application context, this testbed specifically demonstrates how building inventories can be constructed through automated processes that fuse different data sources to enrich parcel data, using SimCenter applications and heuristic rulesets grounded in local codes/standards and normative construction practices.


Since this documentation will continue to evolve when features are added and as software capabilities improve, documentation, associated input files, results, and rulesets will be updated over time. The applications are hosted in NHERI-SimCenter DesignSafe and the versioned source codes are archived via Zenodo. Other related files are maintained in two types of repositories:

  1. The DesignSafe Project PRJ-3314 contains inputs (inventories, rulesets, and hazard data) and outputs (results) along with PDFs that provide more details of the inventory data model as well as the basis for the rulesets used to assign various attributes. This will enable ongoing refinement and extension of these products by the SimCenter and its users over time.

  2. GitHub is used as the home for all software, scripts, and applications engaged by the testbed, including Python implementations of the rulesets. A dedicated GitHub repository has been created for the rulesets used in this testbed. See Table 2.2.

This version history of the documentation is tracked in Table 2.1 and the versions of all applications and rulesets of the current version of the testbed are reported in Table 2.2. Table 3.3 provides the versions of BRAILS and its various classifiers used in the generation of results herein.

Table 2.1 Testbed Version History



Release Date

Initial release






The software descriptions and results herein were generated by executing the R2D application using the versions of this application and associated SimCenter software as listed in Table 2.2 and Table 2.3. With the software versions listed, the testbed is currently estimated to execute in 40 minutes using five Skylake (SKX) nodes (240 cores) on Stampede2.

Table 2.2 Software and Supporting Files










DesignSafe Project PRJ-3314


Data Depot

Table 2.3 Versions of AI application (BRAILS) and models Used in the Current Version of Testbed













Envisioned Use Cases

Given the significance of the building inventory generation for this testbed, this documentation was written in response to two primary audiences/use cases:

Case 1: End users who wish to use the testbed to explore specific research questions such as: 1. the impact of different hurricane scenarios beyond those provided herein 2. the potential benefits of various mitigation efforts (changing select attribute assignments and/or damage/loss descriptions) 3. the benefits of more refined damage/loss models, particularly for coastal hazards

Such individuals may not wish to generate their own inventories, but require some background in order to meaningfully interpret results. This documentation will enhance their understanding of the various assumptions made in generating these inventories and assigning the attributes required for the adopted loss models. Use Case 1 generally requires skill sets in Hazard Characterization and Damage and Loss Estimation.

Case 2: Users who seek to develop building inventories beyond Atlantic County, NJ will benefit from a deeper understanding of the techniques, rulesets and scripts used to generate this building inventory. In addition to the explanations that follow, this documentation is accompanied by detailed rulesets used for building and attribute assignment, as well as their implementation as Python scripts. These provide templates that such users can potentially refine, extend and replicate this testbed’s process for Building Inventory generation beyond the current application in Atlantic County. Use Case 2 generally requires skill sets in Asset Description, Asset Representation, and Damage and Loss Estimation.

The revised damage and loss models or extensions to the heuristic rulesets can be contributed back to the SimCenter to expand the capabilities of this community software.

If you have any feedback or questions, please check out the SimCenter Regional Testbeds. This forum can also be browsed for additional updates, answers to Frequently Asked Questions, and suggestions from the SimCenter team and user community.