Advances on the Resilience of Complex Networks (Complexity Special Issue)

A common property of many complex systems is resilience, that is, the ability of the system to react to perturbations, internal failures, and environmental events by absorbing the disturbance and/or rebuild to maintain its functions. Nowadays, understanding how complex systems demonstrate resilience is critical in many different fields, because examples of collapses and crises caused by low resilience are more and more spreading all over the world including transportation, financial, energy, communication, and ecological systems.

Therefore, in the last decade, the topic of resilience has grown a lot in popularity. Studies on resilience are popular in multiple disciplines, such as ecology, environmental science, computer science, engineering, management science, economics, and phycology. They investigate resilience of a broad variety of complex systems involving individuals, teams, ecosystems, organizations, communities, supply chains, financial networks, computer networks, and building infrastructures.

Despite this multidisciplinary nature, two main perspectives in the conceptualization of resilience are recognized, that is, the static and dynamic ones [1–4]. The resilience is static when it focuses on the ability of the system to absorb disturbance and bounce back to the original equilibrium state, maintaining its core functions when shocked. In such a case, the resilience is linked to the ability to recover the original shape and features once stretched (robustness) and the capacity of the system to take alternative positions to respond better to change (flexibility). The dynamic perspective focuses on the ability of the system to evolve over time moving towards a new more favorable equilibrium state. According to this perspective, resilience concerns the adaptive capacity of the system, which is able to react to disturbance by changing its structure, processes, and functions in order to increase its ability to persist [5].

This special issue collects nine papers concerning resilience of complex systems, which accords well with the main features summarized above. They concern studies investigating resilience of complex systems in diverse disciplines (engineering, management science, computer science, economics, and organization science) and adopting both the static and dynamic perspectives. Their aim is to identify the main factors and dynamics influencing resilience of diverse systems (water system infrastructures, organizational teams, financial markets, wireless sensor network, and urban system) to a variety of unexpected and negative events


Volume 2018, Article ID 8756418, 3 pages
Advances on the Resilience of Complex Networks
Ilaria Giannoccaro, Vito Albino, and Anand Nair