A Suggestion for a Holistic (Descriptive) Approach to Modelling Physical Security Decisions

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


Faculty of Computing, Health and Science


School of Engineering and Mathematics




Alach, Z., & Smith, C.L. (2002). A suggestion for a holistic (descriptive) approach to modelling physical security decisions. In: Hutchinson, W. (Ed.). Protecting the infrastructure: 3rd Australian information warfare & security conference 2002. Churchlands, Australia: We-B Centre, School of Management Information Systems, School of Computer & Information Sciences, Edith Cowan University.


A physical security decision model may provide the necessary supporting documentation to justify expenditure on physical security assets. This paper presents an overview of how some theoretical methods from other disicplines (Phenomenological Sociology, the Delphi technique, and Structural Equation Modelling) could be applied to decision modelling of physical security requirements. If a method of inquiry utilising these techniques/approaches, offers an alternative solution in identifying the universal elements of physical security and their associated relationships, then policy decisions may be automated based on relative values of any subset of these elements. A common theme through the literature of a universal (user) language, could effectively be used as the descriptive text within a universal element database (as defined by expert opinion) to link the model data to a physical environment. The determination of a universal element database, the relative importance of each element and any causal relationships associated with two or more elements may be the Starting point for the design of a holistic physical security model.