Network deployment of radiation detectors with physics-based detection probability calculations

Nedialko B. Dimitrov, Dennis P. Michalopoulos, David P. Morton, Michael V. Nehme, Feng Pan, Elmira Popova, Erich A. Schneider, Gregory G. Thoreson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We describe a model for deploying radiation detectors on a transportation network consisting of two adversaries: a nuclear-material smuggler and an interdictor. The interdictor first installs the detectors. These installations are transparent to the smuggler, and are made under an uncertain threat scenario, which specifies the smuggler's origin and destination, the nature of the material being smuggled, the manner in which it is shielded, and the mechanism by which the smuggler selects a route. The interdictor's goal is to minimize the probability the smuggler evades detection. The performance of the detection equipment depends on the material being sensed, geometric attenuation, shielding, cargo and container type, background, time allotted for sensing and a number of other factors. Using a stochastic radiation transport code (MCNPX), we estimate detection probabilities for a specific set of such parameters, and inform the interdiction model with these estimates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-228
Number of pages22
JournalAnnals of Operations Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research


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