Probabilistic Resilience Assessment of Interdependent Systems

After a disruptive extreme event, such as an earthquake or severe storm, the socio-economic recovery of the affected region depends on the recovery of its infrastructure systems. Lifelines, such as power and water distribution systems, transportation networks, communication systems, and critical buildings have a primary role in disaster response, management, and long-term recovery. The failure to rapidly restore the services required for personal, social, and commercial activities leads to continued socio-economic losses and progressive depopulation. This collaborative project brings together scholars in Civil Engineering, Systems Engineering, Computer Science, Economics, Urban Planning, and Policy Making. Its purpose is to establish and demonstrate a comprehensive framework that combines models of individual infrastructure systems with models of their interdependencies for the assessment of interdependent infrastructure system resilience for extreme events under uncertainty. The "PRAISys" platform (Probabilistic Resilience Assessment of Interdependent Systems) will emphasize a probabilistic approach that permeates all aspects of the models, including the interdependencies. Some types of uncertainties that were not considered before (e.g., the possibility of using contingency plans that provide services without functioning infrastructure) will be classified; while mathematical and computational tools will be devised to capture their characteristics. PRAISys will enable better management and design of next generation infrastructure, more resilient to extreme events and to component failures under normal conditions. This will reduce the likelihood of extreme events becoming catastrophic in terms of casualties and injuries, long-lasting socio-economic losses, and environmental impact. The results of the research will be disseminated to the public in various forms: through series of seminars for professionals and administrators; by participating in Lehigh University's STAR academy program for disadvantaged middle and high school students; through scientific publications and presentation; and by curriculum development.

The development, calibration, and validation of PRAISys will enable research on stochastic interdependencies among infrastructure systems in the wake of an extreme event. This requires advancements in several disciplines. For instance, a new hybrid reliability model, which combines graph theory for network analysis and classic system reliability to model the probabilistic dependencies among infrastructures will be studied. The new concept of "uncertain dependencies," which are rigorously modeled and include "contingency plans" will be introduced. Advancements in stochastic network optimization will be sought, to predict the optimal strategies and to inform the disaster management. Social network data will be used as an additional source of information on the recovery of a region, in real time, mining public posts. A comprehensive decision framework will combine the results of the simulation platform with expert opinions and surveys to identify the importance of various aspects of recovery. Finally, new techniques for the collection of large sets of data from utility companies, local government and other authorities will be studied.


April 15, 2016

The first journal publication officially developed under the PRAISys project was accepted and is available online.
Aman Karamlou, Paolo Bocchini. Sequencing algorithm with multiple-input genetic operators: application to disaster resilience. Engineering Structures, Elsevier, Vol. 117, Issue C, p. 591 - 602, 2016.
→ Link to full text.

February 22, 2016
New hire

Dr. Wenjuan Sun joins the PRAISys team as Research Associate. She will assist the PIs coordinating the development of the PRAISys platform and running the day-to-day operations of the project.

February 14-17, 2016
Geo-Structures Congress


As part of the PRAISys project, Aman Karamlou presents his work on Functionality-Fragility Surfaces at the 2016 edition of the ASCE Geo-Structures Congress in Phoenix (AZ).

January 14-15, 2016
PRAISys retreat

All the PIs of the PRAISys project, including those from Florida and Georgia, as well as several students and postdocs gathered for a two-day retreat in Bethlehem to discuss the project, its long-term vision, and the details of all the immediate priorities.

December 22, 2015
More press


As the activities of the project continue, Lehigh University features this effort in another article and sets up a photo shoot with "artistic" pictures capturing the PRAISys team at Lehigh (on the side).

October 22-23, 2015
National Workshop


Part of the PRAISys team attends the National Workshop on Resilience Research organized by the National Science Foundation in Arlington, VA, on October 22-23, 2015.

October 1, 2015
More press releases

The PRAISys project has been featured in other press relases on the website of Florida Atlantic Univesity and on the media outlet Newswise. Follow the links to learn more.

September 23, 2015
Postdoc position announced

The PRAISys team has officially opened the search for a Postdoctoral Research Associate. If you are interested in this opportunity, submit your application as soon as possible through AcademicJobsOnline:

September 14, 2015
Press releases

The CRISP program and the PRAISys project make the news through three press releases distributed by the White House, the National Science Foundation, and Lehigh University.

September 3, 2015
Award announcement

The National Science Foundation officially announces the award for the collaborative proposal between Lehigh University and Florida Atlantic University under the CRISP program.

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