In this paper we introduced an integrative network-based approach to modelling co-dependent infrastructure systems and simulating them within the general purpose framework of situational simulations. We introduced and discussed the underlying mathematical model of the simulation, and also discussed typical information that will drive it – specifically considering the case of the City of Houghton, Michigan, in the USA. We also implemented the situational simulation using a proposed process model and the information model, thus providing a prototypical product interface. The simulation is interactive and it allows decision makers to account for complex adaptive interactions among co-dependent infrastructure systems, and to account for non-linear feedbacks and counter-intuitive behaviour. The significance of this research is twofold: 1. It provides an underlying model to represent and reason about co-dependent infrastructure systems. 2. It implements the model within the general purpose framework of situational simulations that can be used by public infrastructure emergency management agencies to test crisis management strategies, assess risk, and specifically identify and prepare for events that expose system vulnerabilities. This paper seeds an agenda for interdisciplinary future research with the ultimate goal of developing products that enhance decision making in managing co-dependent infrastructure systems.
Keywords: situational simulation, co-dependent infrastructure systems, transportation, decision making, USA, United States, nonlinear feedback, counter-intuitive behaviour, emergency management agencies, crisis management, risk assessment, critical infrastructures, process models, information models, mathematical modelling, system vulnerabilities