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Probabilistic Estimation of Losses, Injuries, and Community resilience Under Natural hazard events

Project description


Probabilistic Estimation of Losses, Injuries, and Community resilience Under Natural hazard events

What is it?

pelicun is a Python package that provides tools for assessment of damage and losses due to natural hazard events. It uses a stochastic damage and loss model that is an extension of the high-resolution PEER performance assessment methodology described in FEMA P58 (FEMA, 2012). While FEMA P58 aims to assess the seismic performance of a building, with pelicun we provide a more versatile, hazard-agnostic tool to assess the performance of several types of assets in the built environment.

Detailed documentation of the available methods and their use is available at

What can I use it for?

pelicun quantifies losses from an earthquake or hurricane scenario in the form of decision variables. This functionality is typically utilized for performance-based engineering and regional risk assessment. There are several steps of performance assessment that pelicun can help with:

  • Describe the joint distribution of asset response. The response of a structure or other type of asset to an earthquake or hurricane wind is typically described by so-called engineering demand parameters (EDPs). pelicun provides methods that take a finite number of EDP vectors and find a multivariate distribution that describes the joint distribution of EDP data well. You can control the type of target distribution, apply truncation limits and censor part of the data to consider detection limits in your analysis. Alternatively, you can choose to use your EDP vectors as-is without resampling from a fitted distribution.

  • Define the damage and loss model of a building. The component damage and loss data from the first two editions of FEMA P58 and the HAZUS earthquake and hurricane models for buildings are provided with pelicun. This makes it easy to define building components without having to collect and provide all the data manually. The stochastic damage and loss model is designed to facilitate modeling correlations between several parameters of the damage and loss model.

  • Estimate component damages. Given a damage and loss model and the joint distribution of EDPs, pelicun provides methods to estimate the amount of damaged components and the number of cases with collapse.

  • Estimate consequences. Using information about collapse and component damages, the following consequences can be estimated with the loss model: reconstruction cost and time, unsafe placarding (red tag), injuries and fatalities.

Why should I use it?

  1. It is free and it always will be.
  2. It is open source. You can always see what is happening under the hood.
  3. It is efficient. The loss assessment calculations in pelicun use numpy, scipy, and pandas libraries to efficiently propagate uncertainties and provide detailed results quickly.
  4. You can trust it. Every function in pelicun is tested after every commit. See the Travis-CI and Coveralls badges at the top for more info.
  5. You can extend it. If you have other methods that you consider better than the ones we already offer, we encourage you to fork the repo, and extend pelicun with your approach. You do not need to share your extended version with the community, but if you are interested in doing so, contact us and we are more than happy to merge your version with the official release.


pelicun runs under Python 3.6+ . The following packages are required for it to work properly:

  • numpy >= 1.21.0

  • scipy >= 1.7.0

  • pandas >= 1.3.0

We recommend installing each of these using pip. For convenience, we also published a nheri_simcenter python package that gets all of these and a few additional dependencies installed to initialize the Python environment for SimCenter tools.


pelicun is available at the Python Package Index (PyPI). You can simply install it using pip as follows:

pip install pelicun

Although v3.0 of pelicun is released here on Github, it is currently meant for testing by advanced, power-users. With v3.0, pelicun received a major architectural update and we want to wait a few weeks to collect feedback from users and prepare a set of rigorous tests before releasing a build on PyPI for the general researcher community. Until then, pip will keep installing the previous version (v2.6). If you are interested in using v3.0, you can download the source files from GitHub and install it using


Changes in v3.0

  • The architecture was redesigned to better support interactive calculation and provide a low-level integration across all supported methods. This is the first release with the new architecture. Frequent updates are planned to provide additional examples, tests, and bugfixes in the next few months.

  • New assessment module introduced to replace control module:

    • Provides a high-level access to models and their methods
    • Integrates all types of assessments into a uniform approach
    • Most of the methods from the earlier control module were moved to the model module
  • Decoupled demand, damage, and loss calculations:

    • Fragility functions and consequence functions are stored in separate files. Added new methods to the db module to prepare the corresponding data files and re-generated such data for FEMA P58 and Hazus earthquake assessments. Hazus hurricane data will be added in a future release.
    • Decoupling removed a large amount of redundant data from supporting databases and made the use of HDF and json files for such data unnecessary. All data are stored in easy-to-read csv files.
    • Assessment workflows can include all three steps (i.e., demand, damage, and loss) or only one or two steps. For example, damage estimates from one analysis can drive loss calculations in another one.
  • Integrated damage and loss calculation across all methods and components:

    • This includes phenomena such as collapse, including various collapse modes, and irreparable damage.
    • Cascading damages and other interdependencies between various components can be introduced using a damage process file.
    • Losses can be driven by damages or demands. The former supports the conventional damage->consequence function approach, while the latter supports the use of vulnerability functions. These can be combined within the same analysis, if needed.
    • The same loss component can be driven by multiple types of damages. For example, replacement can be triggered by either collapse or irreparable damage.
  • Introduced Options in the configuration file and in the base module:

    • These options handle settings that concern pelicun behavior;
    • general preferences that might affect multiple assessment models;
    • and settings that users would not want to change frequently.
    • Default settings are provided in a default_config.json file. These can be overridden by providing any of the prescribed keys with a user-defined value assigned to them in the configuration file for an analysis.
  • Introduced consistent handling of units. Each csv table has a standard column to describe units of the data in it. If the standard column is missing, the table is assumed to use SI units.

  • Introduced consistent handling of pandas MultiIndex objects in headers and indexes. When tabular data is stored in csv files, MultiIndex objects are converted to simple indexes by concatenating the strings at each level and separating them with a -. This facilitates post-processing csv files in pandas without impeding post-processing those files in non-Python environments.

  • Updated the DL_calculation script to support the new architecture. Currently, only the config file input is used. Other arguments were kept in the script for backwards compatibility; future updates will remove some of those arguments and introduce new ones.

  • The log files were redesigned to provide more legible and easy-to-read information about the assessment.

Changes in v2.6

  • Support EDPs with more than 3 characters and/or a variable in their name. For example, SA_1.0 or SA_T1
  • Support fitting normal distribution to raw EDP data (lognormal was already available)
  • Extract key settings to to make them more accessible for users.
  • Minor bugfixes mostly related to hurricane storm surge assessment


pelicun is distributed under the BSD 3-Clause license, see LICENSE.


This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grants No. 1612843 2131111. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.


Adam Zsarnóczay, NHERI SimCenter, Stanford University,

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