Workshop on Complexity Science Applied to Coupled Infrastructure Systems; Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts; July 15-17, 2012

Project: Research project

Project Details


This workshop will bring together outstanding scholars from engineering, the social sciences, and mathematics to probe the future of infrastructure research. The workshop will view infrastructure systems as large complex networks that are conglomerates of traditional physical infrastructure (road, telecommunications, water, and energy) networks and social networks. Such complex infrastructure networks will not only be considered as topics of scholarly inquiry but also as cornerstones of national, regional and metropolitan economic viability, quality of life, sustainability, and social justice relied upon by every citizen. The workshop will extend over a three day period, be recorded by professional audio-visual engineers, and streamed live to the entire NSF community. The workshop will explore: (1) alternative notions of sustainability and resilience for complex infrastructure networks; (2) new modeling and computational innovations that make possible the qualitative and numerical study of very large-scale complex infrastructure networks; and (3) integration of modern social network models with traditional network flow models.

If successful, this research will create mathematical tools to help engineers better design and operate infrastructure networks, such as the road network or the electric power grid of a metropolitan region. More specifically, this research effort will employ new ideas from a branch of complexity science called 'network science', which describes the evolution of networks, including social networks, over time. The critical step in applying network science to real, physical networks is to blend the tried and true methods of designing and evaluating infrastructure, with new insights into social networks. This integration of the old with the new makes network users both clients and sources of information about the status of a road network, or for that matter any infrastructure network.

Effective start/end date9/1/1111/30/13


  • National Science Foundation: $49,800.00


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