Proceedings of the

The 33rd European Safety and Reliability Conference (ESREL 2023)
3 – 8 September 2023, Southampton, UK

Knee-Deep in Two ``bathtubs'': Extending Holling's Ecological Resilience Concept for Critical Infrastructure Modeling and Applying It to an Offshore Wind Farm

Lukas Halekotte1,a, Nikolai Kulev2,b, Bartosz Skobiej2, Arto Niemi2, Jens Kahlen1 and Tobias Demmer1

1German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute for the Protection of Terrestrial Infrastructures, Germany.

2German Aerospace Center (DLR), Institute for the Protection of Maritime Infrastructures, Germany.


Multistability is a common phenomenon which naturally occurs in complex networks. Many engineered infrastructures can be represented as complex networks of interacting components and sub-systems which possess the tendency to exhibit multistability. For analyzing infrastructure resilience, it thus seems fitting to consider a conceptual framework which incorporates the phenomenon of multistability - the ecological resilience provides such a framework. However, we note that the ecological resilience misses some aspects of infrastructure resilience. We therefore propose to complement the concept by two model extensions which consider the generation of perturbations to the infrastructure service and the remedial actions of service restoration after regime shifts. The result is a three-layer framework for modeling infrastructure resilience. We demonstrate this framework in an exemplary disturbance scenario in an offshore wind farm. Based on this use case, we further demonstrate that infrastructure resilience can benefit a lot from the notion of multistability.

Keywords: System resilience, Stability landscapes, Resilience curves, Degradation, Disturbance sensitivity and propagation, Critical infrastructures, Dynamical systems, Energy systems, Offshore wind farms, Modeling, Maintenance.

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