A Multi-Scenario Probabilistic Simulation Approach for Critical Transportation Network Risk Assessment

Nima Haghighi, S. Kiavash Fayyaz, Xiaoyue Cathy Liu, Anthony Grubesic, Ran Wei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


The reliability, survivability and vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems has received significant attention of the past several decades. Transportation systems are among the many critical lifelines that urban areas and their associated communities are dependent upon. Disruptions to these systems have the potential to create significant human suffering and severe economic damage. As a result, the ability to proactively assess response and recovery options is critical for emergency preparedness in urban areas. Unfortunately, the vast majority of infrastructure disruption studies are deterministic in nature, exploring the impact of node and arc losses with pre-defined interdiction scenarios and ignoring the underlying dynamism of extreme events. We advance existing knowledge by presenting a probabilistic approach for simulating a range of disruption scenarios and for identifying critical links within the network. Specifically, our approach takes advantage of Monte Carlo simulation, network-wide demand modeling and regression analysis to address the probabilistic nature of disaster effects and the joint impacts of network link failures. Using Salt Lake County, Utah as the study area, the resulting analysis effectively identifies and ranks links based on their vulnerability and criticality. The proposed method is easily transferable to any transportation network, regardless of scale, topology or extreme event.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-203
Number of pages23
JournalNetworks and Spatial Economics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018


  • Critical infrastructure
  • Monte Carlo
  • Network-disruption
  • Regression
  • Simulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Artificial Intelligence


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