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Ahmed Abdeltawab Abdelgawad. (2019). Reliability of expert estimates of cascading failures in Critical Infrastructure. In Z. Franco, J. J. González, & J. H. Canós (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference on Information Systems for Crisis Response And Management. Valencia, Spain: Iscram.
Abstract: Owing to the complexity of Critical Infrastructures and the richness of issues to analyze, numerous approaches are used to model the behavior of CIs. Organizations having homeland security as mission often conduct desktop-based simulations using judgmental assessment of CI interdependencies and cascading failures. Expert estimates concern direct effects between the originally disrupted CI sector and other sectors. To better understand the magnitude of aggregate cascading effects, we developed a system dynamics model that uses expert estimates of cascading failures to compare the aggregate effect of cascading failures with the primary direct cascading failures. We find that the aggregate effect of compounded cascading failures becomes significantly greater than the primary cascading failures the longer the duration of the original disruption becomes. Our conceptually simple system dynamics model could be used to improve desktop-based exercises, since it illustrates consequences that go beyond judgmental assessment.