Modelling and Simulation of Critical Infrastructures for Supporting Risk Governance: An exploratory literature review

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract


Over the past couple of decades, increased interdependencies between and institutional defragmentation of, our Critical Infrastructures (CIs) have created a setting were traditional risk management might no longer suffice. In particular, analysis and management of risks have evolved from being a predominantly intra-organisational task towards a process that also requires inter-organisational coordination. Consequently, new approaches to analyse and manage risks are needed to deal with the complexity originating from these processes. We hypothesise that modelling and simulations studies could be one such potential instrument. The purpose of this study is to explore if and how modelling and simulation studies of multiple interdependent CIs can be used to support risk governance needs and activities in the specified context.

A structured scoping study analysis was conducted to identify promising examples, challenges and research gaps in the existing scientific literature. In line with the purpose of the study, we searched for three types of papers, those having: (1) a modelling and simulation approach, (2) a governance and management approach, and (3) an approach combining the two. Only papers related to the CI topic were selected.

Apart from summarising a large number of models, methods and frameworks, three preliminary areas of future research on how existing modelling frameworks can evolve to better aid risk governance activities were identified and will be discussed during the presentation. Firstly, a minimal number of papers focus on or include specific techniques for appropriate data collection and dissemination of results. Secondly, many papers lack broader contextual considerations or a decision-making perspective, e.g. few methodologies offer a structured way of describing and delineating system boundaries and assumptions, which is vital for making an informed decision. Lastly, the different frameworks, models and methods presented in the studied papers display rather diverse conceptual focal points (e.g. risk, resilience, disruption, or criticality), but similar overall purposes (i.e. reducing negative societal consequences). We conclude that there are significant research opportunities when utilising modelling and simulation approaches for supporting risk governance in the context of interdependent critical infrastructures, which we will address in future research.


ConferenceSRA NORDIC 2018
Internet address

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Infrastructure Engineering


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Risk governance
  • Modelling and simulation
  • Societal safety


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