The aim of the project is to assemble, develop and apply complementary mathematical methods to analyse large, man-made multi-element infrastructure systems that exhibit, so-called, complex behaviour.
The scope of the project concerns the network of networks that comprise Europe's critical infrastructure; concentrating primarily on the built environment, energy supply and emergency response systems. The linking themes between these widely differing systems will be the common needs for both qualitative and quantitative prescriptions required to gain insight into the processes that generate complex behaviour. This will assist in the development of civil emergency preparedness strategies as well as in the general long-term planning of civil infrastructure programmes. The reason for including such interdisciplinary topics is the insight that researchers working in a given field may bring to problems that have the same qualitative nature in another, seemingly unrelated, area; thus enabling a macroscopic overview of the complex behaviour of key infrastructures.
The themes running across the individual subject areas will be vulnerability, volatility and emergent phenomena. In addition to tackling specific real-world problems, the project will provide a generalised view of how specific classes of topology, coupling laws, and interdependencies affect their vulnerabilities (or conversely robustness) to unexpected natural, economic or man-made perturbations.
The project will make ample use of standard mathematical concepts of complex systems theory; however, new methods will be introduced and tested on real-world networks to measure the vulnerability of agglomerate networks systems to widespread propagation of failures, we shall also study the role of feedback and scaling as drivers for emergent phenomena, and correlate volatility (or conversely persistence) from differing parametric time series in coupled systems.
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