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Modelling the failure behavior of complex systems and systems of systems - Methods and applications

Giovanni Sansavini
Monday, July 2, 2018 - 16:00

Today's societies rely on a number of engineered systems which arecomplex and interdependent, e.g. energy supply, transport andcommunication networks. As a result, failure behaviors emerge frominteractions among the topology, physics, and operational proceduresthat underpin these intricate systems. This poses significant challengesto the assessment of the characteristics of vulnerability, reliabilityand risk, for which standard risk assessment tools are insufficient.Identifying critical components and assessing scenario consequences andprobabilities calls for effective tools to account for topology, physicsand operations. This talk presents part of the research at theReliability and Risk Engineering Laboratory, ETH Zurich, which focuseson modeling the failure behavior of engineered complex systems andsystems of systems, designing mitigating and protective actions againstthe onset and propagation of failures, and identifying operatingconditions that increase system robustness. An integrated approach isembraced for modelling interdependent, engineered systems, deployingcomplex network theory methods for topological and interdependentsystems assessment, hybrid topological and electric/gas power flowmodels, stochastic optimization and Monte Carlo simulation. Snapshots ofthe developed techniques and tools are also presented and theirapplicability to the solution of practical problems is discussed. 

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