Brief overview of what we do (300 words)

Are you interested in seeking a methodology or a tool that allows you to better appreciate the links to other infrastructure sectors?

Our work consists of two related branches of research:

  • developing models to support the strategic long-term planning of national infrastructure system-of-systems.
  • assessing the risk and vulnerability of interdependent infrastructure networks.

It may be that you require some combination of the two, e.g. to understand how key investment decisions across the infrastructure sectors will impact on your resilience to shocks.

In terms of what has been developed so far, for the long-term planning branch of work, we’ve developed an open-source system-of-systems modelling software which supports the creation, management and running of infrastructure simulation models (smif). We’ve then used smif to couple five spatially detailed models of the UK infrastructure systems (road transport, water supply, energy supply and demand, digital communications) to form NISMOD2, a national system of systems model. Most of these models are also open source and can be found at www.github.com/nismod.

For the risk and resilience work, generally the models used are built from the ground-up for each project, we have developed a number of sound methodologies for conducting risk and vulnerability analysis over interdependent networks and published in major journals in the field.

Another branch of work that is ongoing is conducted in partnership with UNOPS (the operative arm of the UN), which is a fast-track modelling. Together we’ve developed a framework tool, currently based in Excel, which is used to explore how interventions over time can affect both resilience and the long-term planning aspects. The approach and methodology are highly portable and transferable.

NISMOD in a nutshell

Scenarios – how can the future look like?

  • population, demographics
  • economics
  • housing development
  • environmental
  • Manage uncertainty
  • Explore resilience

High resolution simulation models

  • energy supply – CGEN++
  • energy demand – HIRE
  • digital communications – CCAM
  • transport – ULTIMO
  • water supply – WATHNET-EW
  • simulation modelling integration
    framework (smif) integrates simulation models
  • Simulate performance
  • Explore decision strategies

Scaffolding

  • NISMOD-DB++ – database of results
  • DAFNI – massive parallel computational facility
  • Massive computation
  • Big data
  • Complex modelling