Modern infrastructure systems, such as power grids, communication networks, and transportation networks are interdependent in such a way that a failure of an element in one system may cause multiple failures of elements in other systems. This process can propagate back and forth between interdependent systems in a cascading fashion, resulting in a catastrophic widespread failure. In addition, the diverse human behaviors to disruptions, such as drivers? reaction to gridlock, can further complicate the cascading behaviors. Radically new models and analytical techniques are needed to assess and design resilient interdependent systems.

In this project, a team of five investigators from the domains of computer science, optimization, transportation systems, power engineering, and social science will work together to gain a better understanding of cascading failure phenomena and their mitigation strategies.


Fig. 1. Failures of elements in one network propagates to elements in the same network or in other networks in a cascading fashion.