News Column

"Systems and Methods for Determining Concentrations of Exposure" in Patent Application Approval Process

June 16, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Bioterrorism Week -- A patent application by the inventors Chen, Han (San Jose, CA); Dong, Weimin (Palo Alto, CA); Coburn, Andrew (Oakland, CA), filed on January 31, 2014, was made available online on June 5, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by NewsRx correspondents (see also Risk Management Solutions, Inc.).

This patent application is assigned to Risk Management Solutions, Inc.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "It is known that models may be used in order to assess the potential liabilities of catastrophic events. These events may be either man-made or natural occurring disasters such as earthquakes, tornados, hurricanes, terrorist attacks and other disasters.

"Certain industries, such as insurance companies, may find information provided by these models useful. These models may generate large amounts of data that may facilitate the determination of potential liabilities (i.e., exposure) when catastrophic events occur. In order to fully appreciate the information provided by these models, the data may be further processed and analyzed."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, NewsRx journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The present invention relates to systems and methods for identifying concentrations of exposure. Exposure may be defined as the potential financial liability that may be incurred by a party or parties.

"According to one aspect of the invention, systems for determining concentrations of exposure is provided. These systems, sometimes referred to as 'exposure concentration analyzer systems,' may include a database, an input/output device, and various modules. These modules may include, for example, a database manager module, an accumulation analysis module, a parameter builder module or other modules.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the database may be used to store exposure data. The stored exposure data may include, for example, exposure data relating to geographical locations, policies, accounts, portfolios, treaties, and other information that may be used in analyzing and/or processing exposure data.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the database may include exposure data relating to property loss, workmen's compensation and/or both. The property loss data may be related to specific perils such as earthquakes, windstorms, tornado/hail, fire, terrorism, and other natural or manmade perils.

"According to another aspect of the invention, mapping tables may be stored in the database. The mapping tables may be an account mapping table, a location mapping table, a policy mapping table, and/or other tables that may be used for analyzing and/or processing exposure data.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the database may store one or more financial perspectives. Financial perspectives may define the structure of financial liabilities. That is, it may define, for example, which parties are financially responsible for what portion of a loss or for what type of loss.

"According to another aspect of the invention, exposure data stored in the database may be linked to data for one or more portfolios, one or more accounts, one or more policies, and/or one or more locations.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the database manager module is used to retrieve, organize and/or store exposure data in the database. The exposure data may include, for example, exposure data relating to geographic locations, mapping tables, financial perspectives, accounts, locational data, policies, and other data.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the parameter builder module may be used to define a region of interest. The region of interest is a geographical area that may be analyzed in order to determine a concentration of exposure location or area.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the parameter builder module may be used to define whether the exposure concentrations are related to property loss, workmen's compensation loss or both.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the parameter builder module may be used to define areas of analysis and grid width. The areas of analysis are the geographical areas or locations within the region of interest that are individually analyzed to determine whether one or more of the areas have high (or the highest) exposure concentrations. A mapping grid may be used in order to facilitate determination of concentrations of exposure.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the accumulation analysis module may use an exhaustive search approach in determining concentrations of exposure. The exhaustive search approach is a reiterative process that determines the exposure amounts for each area of analysis in the region of interest and compares the exposure amounts to determine the area of analysis having high (or the highest) exposure amounts.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exhaustive search approach may use grids in order to determine exposure of an area of analysis. The grids may be useful in determining which exposure locations belong to an area of analysis. The exposure locations may be geographical locations with some level of exposure.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the accumulation analysis module may use an analytical approach in determining concentrations of exposure. The analytical approach may be a mathematical approach using density functions in order to determine peaks and valleys in the concentrations of exposure.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the input/output device may generate results in a text format, in a graphical format and/or in a mapping format.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exposure concentration analyzer system may be located locally at the system user's computer device or on the user's network. Alternatively, the exposure concentration analyzer system may be remotely located from a system user. The user may communicate with the system via a client application and via a communication link comprising of networks such as the Internet, an intranet, a LAN, a WAN, a PSTN, or other networks used for communication.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exposure concentration analyzer system may further include a module for specific area analysis, damaged footprint analysis and/or building level analysis. In specific area analysis, a location may be selected and accumulation for a specified area around the location may be determined. In damaged footprint analysis, a system user may select a location, define an area around the location and determine the levels of damage for different sections of the area surrounding the location. An accumulation may then be determined for the entire area based on different damage levels.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exposure concentration analyzer system may be a standalone system.

"According to another aspect of the invention, methods for determining concentrations of exposure may be provided. The methods may include an operation for storing and organizing exposure data, an operation for defining parameters, an operation for determining high (or the highest) exposure concentrations, and an operation for generating an output.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for storing and organizing exposure data may include linking the exposure data being stored to one or more portfolios, one or more accounts, one or more policies, and/or one or more locations.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exposure data stored may be linked to one or more financial perspectives.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for storing and organizing data may further include an operation for storing portfolio, account, policy, location, treaty, and/or financial perspective data.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentrations of exposure may further include an operation for retrieving and parsing exposure data. The exposure data may be associated with a location, an account, a policy, and/or a portfolio. The exposure data may be linked to one or more types of perils such as earthquake, windstorm, tornado/hail, fire, tidal wave, terrorism, and other natural or manmade perils. The exposure data may further include exposure data relating to property loss, workmen's compensation and/or both.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for defining parameters may include an operation for defining areas of analysis. This may be accomplished, for example, by defining boundaries for areas of analysis, which may be circles, rectangles, squares or other geometric shapes. If circles or other curved shapes are used, then one or more radii may be provided.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for defining parameters may further include an operation for defining a region of interest. The region of interest may be a geographical area that the methods for determining concentrations of exposure analyzes in determining areas of high exposure concentration.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining parameters may further include an operation for determining results parameters. The results parameters may define the types of results to be displayed. For example, the results of the analysis may only show the geographical area having the highest exposure concentration or may show the top ten areas.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for defining parameters may include an operation for defining a threshold amount. The threshold amount may be defined so that only those areas having accumulation amounts over the threshold level will be identified. The threshold amount may be the accumulation amount that determines whether an area of analysis is considered to be an area having a high concentration of accumulation. Only those areas of analysis determined as having a high concentration of accumulation may then be displayed or highlighted when the results of the analysis are generated.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for defining parameters may include the operation for defining a parameter which results in only the areas of analysis having the highest accumulation amounts be identified. For example, a user and/or an administrator may designate that only the top ten areas of analysis having the highest accumulation amounts will be identified.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the exposure concentration that is determined may be for property loss, workmen's compensation or both. The property loss exposure may be due to various perils such as earthquakes, tornados, terrorist attacks, windstorms, or other manmade or natural perils. Alternatively, the property loss exposure may also be the result of two or more of the perils or from all perils.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentration of exposure may include an operation for determining a financial perspective. The exposure of each exposure location may be linked to one or more policies, one or more accounts and/or one or more portfolios. These items, in turn, may determine a financial perspective which may define the specific liabilities (or portions thereof) of various parties for an insured property and/or workmen's compensation. Thus, a financial perspective may be used to determine the financial exposure of a party, such as an insurance company, as it relates to property loss and/or workmen's compensation loss for a particular location.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for storing and organizing exposure data may further include an operation for creating mapping tables. The mapping tables may be account mapping tables, policy mapping tables, location mapping table, and/or other mapping tables used in analyzing and processing exposure data.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the methods for determining concentrations of exposure may further include the operation of defining and locating exposure locations. An exposure location may be any location that may be a potential financial liability. The exposure locations may identify the precise locations of exposure locations via, for example, longitude/latitude coordinates, street address, building name, zip code, and other techniques for identifying locations. The exposure locations may also be assigned to location identifications.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentration of exposure may further include an operation for determining a financial perspective.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining a financial perspective may use mapping tables.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentration of exposure may further include an operation for determining exposure amounts for one or more exposure locations. The exposure amounts may then be used to determine total exposures for one or more areas of analysis and to determine which areas of analysis have high (or the highest) exposure concentrations.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentration of exposure may include an exhaustive search approach. The exhaustive search approach may include an approach where the region of interest is divided into grid cells. Each grid cell may include zero, one or more exposure locations.

"According to another aspect of the invention, a region of interest may be analyzed for concentrations of accumulation by arbitrarily or systematically moving a boundary for areas of analysis to different locations within the region of interest until the entire region of interest has been analyzed.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the boundary area of analysis may be moved by moving the centroid of the boundary from the center of a grid cell to another grid cell center.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the boundary of area of analysis may be moved by moving the boundary arbitrarily until the entire region of analysis is analyzed.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the area of analysis may be a specific area or damage footprint. Within a specific area, all of the locations located within the area of analysis are assumed to receive a complete level (i.e., 100 percent) of loss. Within a damage footprint, different sections of the area of analysis may be assumed to have different levels of loss.

"According to another aspect of the invention, each exposure location may be associated with a net exposure. The net exposure for an exposure location may be the actual exposure incurred by a particular party after all of the deductibles, co-insurer's share and other deductions have been subtracted from the total insured property value. The net exposure for an exposure location may be determined using a ground up approach. In a ground up approach, the exposure location first identified and based on the location, policies, accounts and portfolios associated with the location may be determined. The policies, accounts, and portfolios that are associated with the location are then reviewed to determine the net exposure (i.e., potential liability) associated with the location.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining concentration of exposure may include defining a grid width ratio. If the area of analysis is a circle, then the grid width ratio may be selected, for example, to optimize accuracy and/or speed. The grid width ratio may be pre-selected in that a user may not be able to determine the grid width ratio. Alternatively, a user may be allowed to change the grid width ratio.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for determining the concentration of exposure may utilize an analytical approach. The analytical approach may integrate a density function for areas of analysis to determine the level of exposure accumulation for each area being analyzed.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the operation for generating output may include an operation for generating results in different formats. The results may be in text form listing the areas of analysis having the highest concentration of exposures for a region of interest. Alternatively, or in combination therewith, the results may show or highlight the area with the highest concentration of exposure. The results may also be shown graphically such as in a chart. The results may further be displayed on a map. For instance, the areas with the highest concentration of exposures may be highlighted on a map.

"According to another aspect of the invention, the methods for determining concentrations of exposure may further comprise an operation for performing a specific area analysis, a damaged footprint analysis and/or a building level analysis. The specific area analysis may determine the total exposure of an area assuming 100 percent loss for the entire area. The damage footprint analysis determines total loss of an area with different levels of loss for different sections of the analyzed area. The building level analysis determines exposure for one or more buildings. In order to perform these analyses, profiles for each of these analyses may be created. An analysis profile may include information, such as parameters, used in performing the analysis.

"Additional features and advantages of the invention are set forth in the description that follows, and in part are apparent from the description, or may be learned by practice of the invention. The objectives and other advantages of the invention are realized and gained by the structure particularly pointed out in the written description and claims thereof as well as the appended drawings.

"It is to be understood that both the foregoing general description and the following detailed description are exemplary and explanatory and are intended to provide further explanation of the invention as claimed.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The accompanying drawings, which are included to provide further understanding of the invention and are incorporated in and constitute a part of this specification, illustrate embodiments of the invention and, together with the description, serve to explain the principles of the invention. In the drawings:

"FIG. 1A is a block diagram of a financial exposure analyzing system according to one embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 1B is a block diagram of an exposure concentration analyzer system according to another embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 2 is a diagram illustrating exemplary relationships between insured properties, policies, accounts and a portfolio.

"FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating an exemplary financial perspective.

"FIG. 4 is a process for determining concentrations of exposure according to one embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 5A illustrates an exemplary relationship between exposure location, grid, area of analysis, region of interest and area of analysis boundary.

"FIG. 5B illustrates an exemplary movement of an area of analysis boundary according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 6 illustrates operations for determining concentrations of exposure using the exhaustive search approach according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 7 illustrates operations for determining the net exposure amount for an area of analysis according to an embodiment of the invention.

"FIG. 8 illustrates operations that may be performed in order to create an analysis profile according to an embodiment of the invention."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Chen, Han; Dong, Weimin; Coburn, Andrew. Systems and Methods for Determining Concentrations of Exposure. Filed January 31, 2014 and posted June 5, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=1003&p=21&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140529.PD.&OS=PD/20140529&RS=PD/20140529

Keywords for this news article include: Risk Management Solutions Inc.

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Source: Bioterrorism Week


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