Complex Systems Modeling and Applications

Session Description

This discussion will focus on the general concept of a complex system and the major modeling frameworks used to model these systems. Examples will be provided from Dr. Guikema’s research, spanning from hurricanes and climate change to power system reliability during hurricanes and complex network theory. The focus will be on modeling—how and why we model complex systems. A key theme will be the need to use models appropriate for the system and goal of the modeling effort. No single best type of model exists, and different models yield complimentary information. The talk will close with an assessment of some of the outstanding research challenges in complex systems modeling.

- Moderator (click to collapse)

Seth Guikema

Seth Guikema is an Assistant Professor the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering of The Johns Hopkins University Whiting School of Engineering; an adjunct Professor II in the Department of Industrial Economics, Risk Management, and Planning at the University of Stavanger (Norway); and a Senior Analyst with Innovative Decision, Inc. He is an Associate Editor for the American Society of Civil Engineers/Journal of Infrastructure Engineering and is on the editorial boards of Risk Analysis, Reliability Engineering & System Safety, and the Journal of Performability Engineering. He has authored or coauthored more than 60 peer-reviewed journal papers, conference papers, and book chapters.

Dr. Guikema’s research interests include probabilistic systems modeling techniques, especially risk analysis, uncertainty modeling, and decision-making under uncertainty. His research focuses both on developing new methods in these fields and on using these methods to understand the performance of complex systems and their impacts on the environment in order to support policy and management decision-making. This work is applied in a number of different areas, including infrastructure systems modeling, public-sector environmental management decision-making, and modeling natural disasters and terrorist attacks.


Ph.D., Management Science and Engineering, Stanford University, 2003
M.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, 1999
M.E., Civil Engineering, University of Canterbury, 1998
B.S., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Cornell University, May 15, 1997


Speaker's slides

Slides are attached in pdf.