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Wolfgang Kroeger

Complexity and Resilience: Incompatible Characteristics of Interdependent Infrastructure Systems?



Friday 26th of September



Infrastructure systems our daily life depends on witnessed tighter integration and growing interdependencies and will continue to do so. In case of disturbances they often tend to show complex behaviors and damages (breakdowns) with serious consequences. Resilience is an evolving multifaceted term which encompasses three essential features, i.e., absorptive capability, adaptive capability and restorative capability, thus complementing/expanding classical terms used in safety analysis. „Gut feeling“ and first guiding principles to enhance resilience, e.g., simplification, suggest contradictoriness with complexity. However more thorough investigations and thoughts call for a balanced view: A careful look at the effects of interdependencies (e.g., between a control system and a system under control) as well as testing other forms of organization (decentralized/bottom-up) seem to align complexity - as a real world element -  and resilience – as a promising paradigm shift.








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