World Congress on Risk 2015
19-23 July, 2015, Singapore

Online Program

Session Schedule & Abstracts

* Disclaimer: All presentations represent the views of the authors, and not the organizations that support their research. Please apply the standard disclaimer that any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations in abstracts, posters, and presentations at the meeting are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of any other organization or agency. Meeting attendees and authors should be aware that this disclaimer is intended to apply to all abstracts contained in this document. Authors who wish to emphasize this disclaimer should do so in their presentation or poster. In an effort to make the abstracts as concise as possible and easy for meeting participants to read, the abstracts have been formatted such that they exclude references to papers, affiliations, and/or funding sources. Authors who wish to provide attendees with this information should do so in their presentation or poster.

Common abbreviations

Monday 20-07-2015

A Systems Approach to Disaster Risk and Resilience Management for Coastal Infrastructure

Room: Aspiration   14:00–15:30

Chair(s): Thomas Seager

1    A Systems Approach to Disaster Risk and Resilience Management for Coastal Infrastructure. Bostick T (110)

Abstract: The impacts of Super Storm Sandy calls into question traditional risk management techniques and calls for new methods of managing natural disasters that lead to more informed decisions by policymakers. During the 2011 Super Storm Sandy, one hundred sixty people lost their lives. There was extensive coastal disaster damage. Nine million homes and businesses lost power, and over 650,000 homes were damaged or completely destroyed with estimated losses at $65B. Traditional methods of assessing risk to coastal infrastructure involve strengthening individual components within the system in response to specific known or predicted threats. Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDA) has often been helpful with complex decision-making for infrastructure development and policy-making related to climate change in situations of incomplete and missing data (e.g., unknown threats). Past research has successfully developed sound alternatives for decision-makers facing unknown future states by integrating MCDA with Scenario Analysis (SA) in order to manage risk through informed decision-making. This presentation introduces a new resilience-based approach to managing natural disasters. The proposed method builds upon current practices by taking a systems approach to not only infrastructure, but also information and social domains then applies it to the four stages of resilient system response defined by the National Academy of Science (plan, absorb, recover and adapt). The proposed methodology is illustrated in US Army Corps of Engineers Case Studies. The results will show that by integrating the infrastructure, information and social domains in planning and development, coastal infrastructure resilience to disasters can be achieved with less cost and with improved levels of risk reduction. The results will benefit federal and local policymakers and emergency responders, business and community leaders, and individual homeowners and residents in the United States and the International Community.

2    Loss and Damage Estimation in Adapting to Climate Change and Extreme Weather in Developing Countries. Abkowitz M, Vanderbilt University (251)

Abstract: The theme for this conference is appropriately focused on Risk Analysis for Sustainable Innovation, with an emphasis on the challenges facing developing countries. A compelling area of concern is the ability of developing countries to deal with a changing climate and the extreme weather conditions to which they are being and will continue to be exposed. With such dramatic expected consequential impacts associated with climate change and extreme weather, it is essential that developing countries expend their limited resources where they are most needed and where the prospect for implementing adaptation (sustainability) measures yields a high return-on-investment. Fundamental to this decision-making process is the ability to accurately estimate the loss and damage associated with climate change and extreme weather events to which communities in developing countries are exposed. Unfortunately, techniques for doing so have been lacking, making it difficult to promote adaptive behavior and challenging in making the business case for international donors to support the effort. This presentation will provide an overview on the importance of loss and damage estimation in performing risk assessments with respect to identifying climate change and extreme weather adaptation needs, and in evaluating the benefits/costs of alternative adaptation strategies. It will include: 1) a description of the challenges and opportunities in trying to successfully perform loss and damage estimation in developing countries, and efforts to build capacity in the region, 2) the development and implementation of a methods toolbox for local-level assessment of loss and damage from climate-related stressors, including sudden-onset events and slow-onset processes, and 3) a review of recent findings related to non-economic losses and damages associated with climate-induced events and the implications on identifying and evaluating potential adaptation strategies.

3    Operational resilience and critical functionality in networked systems: concepts, design and analysis. Kitsak M., Northeastern University; Ganin A.A, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Massaro E, 1U.S. Army Corps of Engineers; Linkov I, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (410)

Abstract: As defined by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS), resilience of a system is its ability \"to plan and prepare for, absorb, respond to, and recover from disasters and adapt to new conditions. Even though different definitions of resilience of networked systems are commonly reported in the literature, resilience assessment has been implemented largely in qualitative or a semi-quantitative way. In our work we propose a methodology to quantify the resilience of networked systems. We demonstrate our approach on (i) multi-level acyclic graphs and (ii) interdependent networks. Our findings indicate that desired resilience and robustness levels are achievable by trading off different design parameters, such as redundancy and node recovery time. Our approach can benefit analysts and designers of complex systems and networks.

4    Interdependent Critical Infrastructure Systems and Networks: Water, Electric Power, and Roads. Eisenberg D.A., School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, USA; Park J., School of Urban and Civil Engineering, Hongik University, South Korea; Bartos M.D., School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, USA; Chester M.V., School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, USA; Seager T.P., School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Arizona State University, USA (307)

Abstract: While humans rely on infrastructure systems to provide critical services such as water, electric power, and transportation, these infrastructure services are likewise dependent on each other. The tight coupling between water, power, and road (WPR) infrastructure can lead to unforeseen and cascading failures across them, including: blackouts and car accidents inducing water scarcity, pipe and power line failures causing traffic, and roadway and pumping malfunctions forcing load shed. Moreover, the rules that dictate infrastructure operation and management can prolong, exacerbate, and even initiate critical infrastructure failures, such that coordination and knowledge sharing across WPR organizations is crucial to their resilience. In this work, we present network-based methods to model the engineering and knowledge systems relevant for understanding how failures can cascade between WPR infrastructures. These networks make explicit both the relationships between built infrastructure and human actions and the relationships across interdependent infrastructures. As such, this modelling framework enables the study of the socio-technical processes that dictate human actions taken to manage adverse events (e.g., sensing) within a single infrastructure system and across multiple critical services. In addition, we present examples of WPR interdependencies for diverse social settings, such as the US Southwest and South Korea, to emphasize the importance of social context on infrastructure resilience. For example, differences in climate and social hierarchy between each region emphasizes distinct solutions to improve infrastructure resilience.

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