The Complexity Science Approach vs. the Simulative Approach

The Complexity Science Approach vs. the Simulative Approach

Vincenzo Fioriti (AIIC, Italy), Gregorio D’Agostino (ENEA, Italy) and Antonio Scala (CNR-ISC, Italy)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-2964-6.ch007
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The chapter starts with the description of the state-of-the-art and the literature review, while introducing the general context of the simulative and complexity science methodologies applied to the critical information infrastructure protection. While introducing the general context, the authors illustrate the methodologies and their applications. The major objective is to investigate the pros and cons to facilitate the choice between the mainstream lines of research in critical information infrastructure protection. Theoretical and practical issues are balanced in order to provide the reader with a wider understanding of the problems at hand and with the appropriate methodological tools to face them. This discussion on the state-of-the-art by no means can be considered exhaustive, depending on the personal views of the authors and on the room available, nevertheless it is meant to explain the trends and the relevant points in the field. It is also worth mentioning, moreover, that with respect to other CI (oil, gas, power grid, etc.), only a small number of CII modelling case studies are available. The reader should be aware that the intention of the authors is not to provide a deep, theoretical, or philosophical analysis of the issue under consideration, rather to help from a practical point of view.
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The major objective of this Chapter is to investigate the pros and cons to facilitate the choice between the mainstream lines of research in Critical Information Infrastructure Protection. While Complexity inspired models tend to capture the general process, simulations tend instead to replicate the phenomena in all its details, as an effort towards a full representation of the interactions among all parts of a Critical Information Infrastructure (CII) by means of a local description of the elementary components, closely linked through specific relations exploiting several existing emulation tools or ad hoc tools at different levels of abstraction. Among them it is worth mentioning the Event Driven approach, the Federative Simulation approach, the Supply/Demand System approach, and the I/O Models (Leontief based) approaches. The mutual dependence relations may be deterministic or stochastic, represented by mathematical expressions, software agents or complete software emulators of a particular application domain. A number of indications and recent findings will be given and summarized at the end of the Chapter. They pertain to the choice of the most suitable model to simulate depending on the available data, the granularity level of the simulation, the identification of the couplings among the objects, the limitations to the linear and linearized simulation models as well as the limitations due to node dynamical complexity in complex networks and the tendency of all large infrastructures toward a self-organizing criticality (SOC) behavior. The target audience of this Chapter has a basic knowledge of the ICT, power and transportation infrastructures. A mathematical background in dynamical systems, notions of informatics, graph theory, programming would be useful, but by no means mandatory, as the major ideas will be explained plainly and without heavy mathematical notations for the sake of readability.

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