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A quantified system-of-systems modeling framework for robust national infrastructure planning

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Jim Hall, David Alderson, Professor Stuart Barr


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National infrastructure (NI) systems (i.e., energy, transport, water, waste, and information and communications technology) provide essential services to the economy and contribute to human well-being. These systems have evolved over centuries, being planned and implemented piecewise, and are mostly managed in isolation from one another. Here, we argue that the growing interconnection between these systems and the convergent challenges ahead (i.e., demographic, technological, and climate change) call for an integrated “system-of-systems” approach to managing NI. Toward that end, we propose a modeling framework for the long-term (to 2100) simulation of NI system performance in a highly uncertain future. The approach is based on the assessment of the performance of infrastructure services in a wide range of possible future conditions. This robust optimization is used to identify cross-sectoral strategies that ensure satisfactory infrastructure performance. We demonstrate the framework using Great Britain's NI as an example.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Otto A, Hall JW, Hickford AJ, Nicholls RJ, Alderson D, Barr SL, Tran M

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: IEEE Systems Journal

Year: 2016

Volume: 10

Issue: 2

Pages: 385-396

Print publication date: 01/06/2016

Online publication date: 29/10/2014

Acceptance date: 28/07/2014

ISSN (print): 1932-8184

ISSN (electronic): 1937-9234

Publisher: IEEE


DOI: 10.1109/JSYST.2014.2361157


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Funder referenceFunder name
EP/I01344X/1U.K. Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council as part of the Infrastructure Transitions Research Consortium