Open Access: NODE: a large‐scale seismic risk prioritization tool for Italy based on nominal structural performance


Original Article | Open Access Published: 18 Aprile 2021

Petruzzelli, F., Iervolino, I.

NODE: a large‐scale seismic risk prioritization tool for Italy based on nominal structural performance.

​Bull Earthquake Eng (2021). NODE: a large‐scale seismic risk prioritization tool for Italy based on nominal structural performance | SpringerLink

ABSTRACT: Prioritization of seismic risk mitigation at a large scale requires rough-input methodologies able to provide an expedited, yet conventional, assessment of the seismic risk corresponding to the portfolio of interest. In fact, an evaluation of seismic vulnerability at regional level by means of mechanics-based methods is generally only feasible for a fraction of the portfolio, selected according to prioritization criteria, due to the sheer volume of information and computational effort required.

Therefore, conventional assessment of seismic risk via simple indices has been proposed in literature and in some guidelines, mainly based on the comparison of code requirements at the time of design and current seismic demand. These indices represent an attempt to define a relative seismic risk measure for a rapid ranking to identify the part of the portfolio that deserves further investigation. Although these risk metrics are based on strong assumptions, they have the advantage of only requiring easy-to-retrieve data, such as design year and location as the bare minimum, making them suitable for applications within the risk analysis industry.

Moreover, they can take both hazard and vulnerability into account, albeit conventionally, and can be manipulated in order to account for exposure in terms of individual or societal risks. In the present study, the main assumptions, limitations, and possible evolutions of existing prioritization approaches to nominal risk are reviewed, with specific reference to the Italian case. Furthermore, this article presents the software NODE (available to interested readers), which enables the computation of location-specific code-based seismic performance demands, according to the Italian code and the evolution of seismic classification since 1909. Finally, this study intends to contribute to the ongoing debate on strategies for large-scale seismic assessment for building stock management purposes.

NODE - Code availability
The NODE software is available at: It requires the MATLAB Compiler Runtime 7.11, which is available at Also note that in some cases it requires the Microsoft Visual C++ (2005) available at

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