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College of Computing and Mathematics


Industrial and Systems Engineering Department


Presents a Seminar on


"A Bi-Level Modeling Approach to Mitigate Illicit Trafficking of Nuclear and Radioactive Materials in the Global Network"



Date: Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Time: 14:00 PM – 15:00 PM

Location: Room No. 127 Building No. 22



Dr. Mohammed Hassan AlYaqoub


Industrial and Systems Engineering Department



After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a lot of nuclear facilities became vulnerable to theft in the former Soviet Union countries. Many programs and organizations were established (e.g., Second Line of Defense (SLD), National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI)) to counter the spread of nuclear and radioactive materials. Even though the number of countries storing these dangerous materials has dropped, many funded terrorist organizations have declared their intent to pursue materials for the weapon of mass destruction. The research highlight one of the main challenges addressed in one of the NNSA reports.

The Bi-level optimization problems consider two-player, two-level Stackelberg games in which leader and follower sequentially solve interdependent problems that optimize different objective functions. The bi-level model approach is used to model network interdiction problems for mitigating illicit trafficking of nuclear and radioactive materials in the global network. The objective is to detect and interdict nuclear and radioactive materials as far away from the United States. This could be achieved by partnering up with other countries and providing them with radiation detection equipment and support. Various public data sets were collected in order to establish a shipping network through ground, sea and air. The NTI nuclear security index is used to assess countries and territories security and deterrence capabilities of nuclear and radioactive materials. The problem is formulated as a min-max problem or Bi-level problem with two adversaries; the smuggler/attacker tries to maximize the probability to traverse the network while the interdictor tries to minimize the probability of smuggler traversing the network by placing detection equipment in partnered countries. The smuggler's original point and destination are assumed to be stochastic. The objective of the study is to find which countries/regions to partner with and which work as transition hubs for the smugglers.


Speaker Bio:

Dr. Mohammed Hassan Alyaqoub has received his bachelor's and master's degrees in system engineering from King Fahd University for petroleum and minerals. He has received his Ph.D. degree in Industrial and System Engineering in the concertation of operation research from the University at Buffalo-SUNY. Currently, he is working with the Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, KFUPM, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. His current research interests include Mathematical Modeling, Operation Research, Interdiction Problems, Network Optimization, Stochastic Optimization, Maintenance Planning & Scheduling.


All faculty, researchers and graduate students are invited to attend.



Industrial and Systems Engineering Department, College of Computing and Mathematics

Telephone: +966 (13) 860 2988, Email:, Website:


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24 Nov 2021


02:00 PM to 03:00 PM