New pubs in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

By | September 20, 2016

The Analytics Lab has two new publications recently accepted in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure.Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure

Barker, K., J. Lambert, C. Zobel, A. Tapia, J. Ramirez-Marquez, L. McLay, C. Caragea, C. Nicholson. 2016. Defining Resilience Analytics. Accepted for publication in Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure on September 1, 2016.

Zhang, W. and C. Nicholson. 2016. A multi-objective optimization model for retrofit strategies to mitigate direct economic loss and population dislocation. Accepted for publication in  Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure on September 19, 2016.


Defining Resilience Analytics

Dr. Nicholson along with Dr. Kash Barker (OU),  Dr. Cornelia Caragea (UNT), Dr. James Lambert (UVA), Dr. Laura McLay (Univ of Wisconsin), Dr. Chris Zobel (Virginia Tech), Dr. Andrea Tapia (Penn State), and Dr. Jose Ramirez-Marquez (Stevens Institute) have collaborated on this perspective article funded by their NSF award.

Abstract: Theory, methodology, and applications of risk analysis contribute to the quantification and management of resilience. For risk analysis, numerous complementary frameworks, guidelines, case studies, etc., are available in the literature. For resilience, the documented applications are sparse relative to numerous untested definitions and concepts. This essay on resilience analytics motivates the methodology, tools, and processes that will achieve resilience of real systems. The paper describes how risk analysts will lead in the modeling, quantification, and management of resilience for a variety of systems subject to future conditions including technologies, economics, environment, health, developing regions, regulations, etc. The paper identifies key gaps where methods innovations are needed, presenting resilience of interdependent infrastructure networks as an example. Descriptive, predictive, and prescriptive analytics are differentiated. A key outcome will be the recognition, adoption, and advancement of resilience analytics by scholars and practitioners of risk analysis.

A multi-objective optimization model for retrofit strategies to mitigate direct economic loss and population dislocation

This work is part of the NIST-funded Center of Excellence in Community Resilience and will be published in a special edition of Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure focused on some of the initial analysis conducted by the Center.

Abstract: One strategy to mitigate social and economic vulnerabilities of communities to natural disasters is to enhance the current infrastructure underlying the community. Decisions regarding allocation of limited resources to improve infrastructure components are complex and involve various trade-offs. In this study, an efficient multi-objective optimization model is proposed to support decisions regarding building retrofits within a community.
In particular, given a limited budget and a heterogeneous commercial and residential building stock, solutions to the proposed model allow a detailed analysis of the trade-offs between direct economic loss and the competing objective of minimizing immediate population dislocation. The developed mathematical model is informed by earthquake simulation modeling as well as population dislocation modeling from the field of social science. The model is applied to the well-developed virtual city, Centerville, designed collaboratively by a team of engineering experts, economists, and social scientists. Multiple Pareto optimal solutions are computed in the case study and a detailed analysis regarding the various decision strategies is provided.


Sustainable and Resilient Infrastructure is an interdisciplinary journal that focuses on the sustainable development of resilient communities.

Sustainability is defined in relation to the ability of infrastructure to address the needs of the present without sacrificing the ability of future generations to meet their needs.  Resilience is considered in relation to both natural hazards (like earthquakes, tsunami, hurricanes, cyclones, tornado, flooding and drought) and anthropogenic hazards (like human errors and malevolent attacks.)  Resilience is taken to depend both on the performance of the built and modified natural environment and on the contextual characteristics of social, economic and political institutions. Sustainability and resilience are considered both for physical and non-physical infrastructure.

Contributions address pressing societal issues while exploring needed solutions.  Investigating sustainability and resilience from an interdisciplinary perspective, the journal includes original articles, reviews, short communications and case studies in all areas relevant to sustainability and resilience.