Multi-Level Resilience: Reconciling Robustness, Recovery and Adaptability from a Network Science Perspective

Multi-Level Resilience: Reconciling Robustness, Recovery and Adaptability from a Network Science Perspective

Mehdi Khoury (School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK) and Seth Bullock (School of Electronics and Computer Science, University of Southampton, Southampton, UK)
DOI: 10.4018/ijaras.2014100103
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Abstract

From a multi-disciplinary point of view, research on resilience focuses on robustness, recovery, and adaptive capacity. Robustness quantifies how much damage a system can take before it breaks, whereas recovery refers to the ability of a system to recuperate within limits of time and resources, and adaptability requires a system to be able to structurally reorganize throughout time so as to improve its chances of survival when facing disturbances. In this paper, after discussing examples of models of robustness, recovery and adaptability from different scientific disciplines, is a discussion on the relationship between these three aspects of resilience, introducing a multi-level resilience hierarchy with which to relate them to each other which is termed the resilience pyramid. This paper then exemplifies this multi-level view of resilience through discussing the resilience of symbiotic networks to cascading failure in the context of modern infrastructures, and considers the introduction of infrastructure nodes with permutable roles as a possible solution.
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2. Robustness, Recovery And Adaptability As Building Blocks Of Resilience

The idea of resilience originates from disparate fields and is not yet clearly defined in a trans-disciplinary fashion (Deffuant & Gilbert, 2011; Hollnagel et al., 2006). This lack of conceptual cohesion can be problematic when trying to understand the resilience of, e.g., heterogeneous infrastructures which themselves reflect an amalgam of different engineering, economic and social science paradigms. Although the models and definitions employed across these disciplines vary widely, they can be organised along thematic lines that reveal core aspects of resilience at a basic conceptual level. In this section, we list some examples of resilience language used by different disciplines, highlighting a degree of conceptual resonance that distinguishes three specific aspects of resilience: robustness, recovery and adaptability.

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