Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers -

Engineering Sustainability

ISSN 1478-4629 | E-ISSN 1751-7680
Volume 166 Issue 5, October 2013, pp. 281-292
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Currently, there is a great deal of interest in assessing the resilience of infrastructure systems. Much of this interest stems from the realisation that these systems are not only critical to civil defence but also, given the correct set of circumstances, can fail catastrophically. Three case studies are presented that show how network theory, which has been successfully applied to other fields, can also be used to help understand potential vulnerabilities in infrastructure systems. Through these case studies it is shown that traditional network theory can be extended to analyse infrastructures that are large, spatially distributed systems, or that carry flows of resources or are interconnected with other infrastructure systems. These methods demonstrate how this approach can help infrastructure designers, owners and operators to make rapid assessments of vulnerabilities in their systems and to identify components that are more important to the functioning of the these networks. Furthermore, this approach provides a basis for identifying and prioritising appropriate measures to improve the reliability of infrastructure at the systems scale.

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