Our modern day civil infrastructure includes transport networks, telecommunications, power systems, financial infrastructure and emergency services, all of which are growing more and more interconnected. Moreover, the behaviour of the modern infrastructure is not dependent only upon the behaviour of its parts: complex civil systems (such as modern power grids), communication and transport systems, megaprojects, social and eco-systems, generate rich interactions among the individual components with interdependencies across systems. This interdependent behaviour brings about significant new challenges associated with the design and management of complex systems. Cascading power failures, traffic disruptions, epidemic outbreaks, chronic diseases, financial market crashes, and ecosystem collapses are typical manifestations of these challenges, affecting the stability of modern society and civil infrastructure. This unit will develop an understanding of how interdependent systems perform under stress, how to improve resilience and how best to mitigate the effects of various kinds of component failure or human error, by more accurate analysis of interdependent cascades of failures across system boundaries. The studied topics will include dynamical analysis of complex interdependent networks, local and global measures of network structure and evolution, cascading failures, as well as predictive measures of catastrophic failure in complex adaptive systems, and the tools that enable planning for resilient infrastructure. This unit will equip future professionals with sufficient expertise and technical know-how for the design of efficient prevention and intervention policies, and robust crisis forecasting and management. This unit will equip future professionals with sufficient expertise and technical know-how for the design of efficient prevention and intervention policies, and robust crisis forecasting and management.
Refer to the assessment table in the unit outline.