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Resilience in Engineering Systems and its Implementation to Critical Offshore Infrastructure Systems

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Systematic Literature Review of Resilience in Engineering Systems and its Implementation to Critical Offshore Infrastructure Systems


Defining, achieving and quantifying the resilience of inherently complex and gigantic socio-technical engineering systems as a result of their vulnerability to various hazards in their challenging field of operations due to their interactions and interdependencies, are becoming a popular agenda in safety management paradigm. Therefore, the notion of resilience engineering amongst its multiple application domains has been considered and implemented by several scholars and practitioners. In light of this, the aim of this review is predominantly defining a comprehensive systematic literature review of related research articles to extensively defining, achieving and quantifying resilience and its implementation into complex engineering systems. A comprehensive classification scheme of resilience engineering by its various categorizations has been provided, focusing on critical offshore infrastructure systems (COISs). Comprehensive coverage of the resilience related resources, defining challenges and current knowledge gaps, besides several future directions of probable further studies are some of this study features.

Keywords: Resilience, Engineering Systems, Vulnerability, Interdependencies, Safety Management, Systematic Literature Review



  1. Introduction 1
  2. The methodology of literature review – How are we measuring? 4
    1. Systematic literature review 4
    1.  Selection of resilience literature criteria 4
  3. Multiplicities of resilience research areas and its definitions – What are we measuring? 4
    1. Resilience research areas 4
      1.     Environmental science & ecology resilience 6
      2.     Psychological resilience 6
      3.     Computer science resilience 7
      4.     Engineering resilience 7
    2. Analysis and synthesis of resilience definitions 8
  4. Multiplicities of RE definitions and its categorization – Why are we measuring RE? 8
    1.  RE categorization 9
      1.     RE subdisciplines categorization 9 Multiplicities of RE subdisciplines definitions  11

  1.     RE journals categorization 12
  2.     RE territories categorization 14
  3.     Categorize by Authors, publication year and citations relations 15
  1. RE & critical offshore infrastructure systems – How can RE be applied to critical offshore infrastructure systems?              17
    1. Critical infrastructure systems 17
    2. Assessing vulnerabilities in CISs 18
    3. RE of critical offshore infrastructure systems 19
      1.     Literature including RE definitions of COISs 19
      2.     Achieving RE in COISs 20
      3.     Quantifying RE in COISs 22 Existing RE frameworks 24 RE quantification frameworks in COISs 24

  1. Data analysis and synthesis of RE in COISs 26
  1. Challenges and future research directions 26
    1. Challenges and knowledge gaps plus some future research directions 27
  2. Conclusion 29

References  30


  1. Introduction

The conception of resilience has been preliminarily emerged from Latin “resiliens or resiliere” which means to “bounce, jump or leap back”. Fletcher and Sarkar1, and was primarily illustrated by Holling2 as the capability of an engineering system to absorb perturbations and still remain in its required consistency. But what is resilience concept?  During the past decades, multiple definitions of resilience by several scholars have been suggested. Albeit the greater number of the definitions are somewhat indistinguishable, however many of these broad definitions overlap with a number of already existing implications like flexibility, robustness, and survivability, among others, implementing to various research areas like environmental science & ecology, computer science, psychology, geology, and engineering, inter alia. Hosseini et al.3. The regular usage of resilience notion in engineering domain identified as the intrinsic capability of an engineering system to reconcile its functioning before, during, or after any conversion and perturbation that disfigure its eligible functionality, thus it can remain in predetermined functioning under both anticipated and unanticipated malfunctions. The indispensable feature of an engineering system resiliency is the capability to adjust its functioning so that it can remain in various challenging conditions. For doing so, four major characteristics should be implemented, representing an essential system ability, including (a) how to respond to regular and irregular perturbations, (b) how to monitor that which is or can become a probability or opportunity in the near future, (c) how to expect evolutions, probabilities, and opportunities further into the future, and lastly (d) how to learn from previous experiences. The four aforementioned characteristics arrange a foundation for resilience engineering. Hollnagel et al.4. Four various resilience concepts were extensively defined by Woods5 consisting (a) resilience as a rebound from trauma and return to equilibrium, (b) resilience as a synonym for robustness, (c) resilience as the antonym of brittleness, and (d) resilience as network architectures that can endure the capability to adapt to future incidents as conditions evolve.  Fig.1 demonstrates the number of related papers per year of publication to the resilience concept from the beginning till now.

Fig.1. Number of resulting papers per year from the search “resilience” in WoS from 1994 till 2017

But is resilience sufficient reliable to guarantee the sustained efficiency of our intrinsically technical and complex sociotechnical systems in the face of catastrophic phenomena like natural disasters and terrorist attacks? If yes, How to engineer it in complex adjustable systems? To address this fundamental question, Thoma et al.6 pointed out that, resilience engineering (RE) is a newly emerging concept that can assist nations and specifically their critical infrastructure systems with means, tactics, and technologies to cope with daily incidents, unexpected malfunctions, and even unprecedented incidents. Based on the Herrera7 conclusion, RE addresses the need for better equipment for forecasting, discrepancies and calamities management and collective action within and across various engineering systems and organizations at various stages before, during and after daily liabilities and catastrophic phenomena. Nemeth8 mentioned that RE has developed theories, methods, and tools to purposely manage the adjustable ability of systems in order to function efficaciously and securely.

But could resilience engineering guarantee the sustained efficiency of infrastructure systems in both offshore and onshore against any sort of trauma? Critical infrastructure systems (CISs) including oil and gas production platforms, telecommunication, and transportation systems, among others can be contemplated as offshore or onshore critical infrastructure systems being subdisciplines of the engineering discipline. The final report and recommendations of natural infrastructure advisory council9 pointed out that, infrastructure protection is the capability of an engineering system to hamper or diminish the effect of catastrophic phenomena and infrastructure resilience is the capability to diminish the severity, influence, or duration of a malfunction. In this technical report resilience demonstrated as the combination of absorptive capacity, adaptive capacity, and recoverability from potentially destructive incidents. The insufficiency of appropriate literature reviews to define resilience extensively and its contribution in multiple research areas, to demonstrate resilience engineering in its several engineering sub-disciplines beside categorization of that from different perspectives broadly, and to implement resilience to a specific engineering system like critical offshore infrastructures systems (COISs), with several quantification frameworks,  motivated us to provide an authentic comprehensive systematic literature review to cover and compensate all these deficiencies. Some of this systematic review paper characteristics are a comprehensive coverage of all related literature from the beginning (the 1990s) till August 2017, an extensive understanding of contemporary knowledge gaps, and offering several probable future research directions. For doing so and show the way of doing the literature, several general questions will be designed and addressed as follow:

  • Firstly by defining the question of (a) How are we measuring? We begin with the illustration of the methodology of literature review and distinguishing between the systematic literature reviews and typical narrative reviews following by selection of resilience literature criteria for resilience notion.
  • We will then examine intrinsically multiple disciplinary of resilience concepts and its definition from various main research areas by addressing the question of (b) What are we measuring? For this purpose, a wide collection of resilience literature has been gathered and the main research areas and their contribution has been identified besides an extensive definition of resilience notion in its four major research areas from various authors’ perspectives, followed by analysis and synthesis of resilience definitions.
  • Hereinafter, to address (c) Why are we measuring RE? given our interest is resilience concept in engineering systems because of its concentration on interactions that are relevant to managing engineers, humans and technology, we provide a variety of definitions of RE for its various engineering sub-disciplines followed by several classified subsections for RE categorization.
  • Accordingly, for considering the implementation of resilience to a specific engineering system we address the question of (d) How RE can be applied to critical offshore infrastructure systems?
  • And then eventually we develop some future research directions regards to the current knowledge gaps of RE and its applications to address the question of (e) what is the expected outcome?

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first extensive systematic literature review of RE and its application to critical offshore infrastructure systems. An epitomize flowchart to demonstrate a brief view content of systematic literature review of resilience is shown in Fig. 2.

Fig. 2. Flowchart of the content

  1. The methodology of literature review – How are we measuring?
    1.  Systematic literature review

According to Cook et al.10 definition, systematic literature reviews are different from typical narrative reviews by the use of a reproducible, technical and clear procedure, otherwise speaking a comprehensive search, that intent to diminish prejudice through extensive literature searches of all potentially relevant articles and by giving an audit trail of the reviewers’ decisions, methods and conclusions. Fig. 3 summarizes the dimensions of publication and citation data analysis used herein as a Systematic literature review method.

  1. Selection of resilience literature criteria

In systematically selecting the papers “resilience” keyword was searched as the main topic, to select those papers only relevant to resilience notion. This characteristic was implemented to the different sources that had been published or were in the press from the onset of resilience concept formation in the 1990s till 2017, however, the concentration of this study primarily will be in recent papers. Data were extracted on September 2017 from the Web of Science Core Collection database and loaded to VOSviewer 11 to identify the research areas, related sources, and regions affiliated with resilience, resiliency in engineering systems and its implementations to critical offshore infrastructure systems literature. Then CitNetExplorer12 was used to visualize and analyze the temporal distribution of citation networks and assess the evolution of resilience knowledge over the time. Using this search string, a total of 48,092 records were found in all research resources within different journals, books, symposiums and review papers. The word of resilience could emerge either in the topic, abstract or in the main body of all of the selected resources. In order to classify and refine the related papers meticulously, the distribution of literature has been classified by firstly: resilience main research areas and some definition of that, then considering our interest in engineering domain, picking up resilience engineering, followed by categorizing RE by its various subdisciplines, journals, territories, authors, publication years, and citations relations for all papers.

  1. Multiplicities of resilience research areas and its definitions – What are we measuring?

3.1. Resilience research areas

Resilience concept is quite multiple disciplinary in nature and has been investigated from among other domains, including environmental science & ecology, engineering, psychology, and computer science. Therefore, various descriptions for the concept of resilience have been demonstrated. Table 1 displays 15 major research areas of resilience with the number of publications in each domain and the percentages of that from the total records. As can be found from Table 1, environmental science & ecology with 8702 (18.094 % of the total number of related publications) and engineering with 6881 publications (14.308 %) are the largest domains having had a particular attention to the resilience concept from the beginning till now specifically during the last few years, followed by psychology domain via 5963 publications (12.399 %), while computer science area with 5144 publication (10.696 %) is the fourth main area in resilience concept. The contributions of other research areas such as geology with 1329 (2.763 %) and agriculture with 1245 publications (2.589 %) are much less than the other disciplines.

Table 1

15 Main Research Areas Related to Resilience (from WoS)

Resilience Main Research Areas Papers included Resilience in Various Research Areas of 48,092 Records
Record Count % of 48,092
Environmental Science & Ecology 8702 18.094 %
Engineering 6881 14.308 %
Psychology 5963 12.399 %
Computer Science 5144 10.696 %
Psychiatry 3151 6.552 %
Telecommunications 2380 4.949 %
Science Technology Other Topics 2249 4.676 %
Business Economic 1923 3.999 %
Public Environmental Occupational Health 1880 3.909 %
Neurosciences Neurology 1828 3.801 %
Water Resources 1578 3.281 %
Marine Freshwater Biology 1551 3.225 %
Geology 1329 2.763 %
Agriculture 1245 2.589 %
Social Work 1131 2.352 %

Fig.3. demonstrates main resilience concept research areas and their contributions. From Fig.3, it is obvious that a more proportion of resilience related papers exists in the engineering after environmental science & ecology area, demonstrating that greater strides in defining and quantifying RE have been made.

Fig.3.Main resilience research areas

Considering several different research areas, various definitions for the concept of resilience have been proposed. To better understand the notion of resilience, according to Table 1, four major research areas of resilience with the contributions of more than 10 % including environmental science & ecology, psychology, computer science, and engineering domains have been identified and a variety of definitions of resilience concept according to the four aforementioned groups have been provided. Note that this classification may vary depending on researchers’ perspectives.

3.1.1. Environmental science & ecology resilience

Environmental science & ecological resilience notion has emerged as a criterion of ecosystem consistency, as a result forfeiture of resilience implies diminished ecosystem stability. As a technical term, the notion of “resilience” originated in the domain of ecology by Holling2 as the criteria for durability of ecological systems and of their capacity to engross change and perturbation and still remain in the same relationships between communities or state ingredients. Carpenter et al.13 illustrated resilience as the amount of perturbation that a socio-ecological system (SES) can absorb and stay within the desired domain, capability for learning and conformity, and amount to which the system is capable of self-organizing. Fraser14 defined agroecosystem resilience as measures the extent to which the agroecosystem can tolerate climatic turbulence beside its fertility. Quinlan et al.15 pointed out that ecological resilience suggests that a system has numerous probable balances and concentrates on the capability of a system to maintain, including through reorganization, its essential structure and function when faced with turbulences. The resilience of social-ecological systems (SES) defined by Hahn and Nykvist16 as the capability of SES compatibility to self-organize in a spontaneous and harmonious consensus-building process, overlooking policies, inconsistent targets, and power issues. According to Torres and Alsharif17 resilience building from international to local scales of governance, is being demonstrated as the method of preparation for influences of any sorts of catastrophic situations. More explanation of resilience in the domain of environmental science & ecology can be found in1819202122.

3.1.2. Psychological resilience

According to Tugade et al.23, the psychology domain viewpoint to the resilience capacities is an individual’s potency to reconcile to stress and severity that can be abided by anyone using positive emotions. Psychological resilience highlighted by Bonanno24 as the capability to sustain somewhat stable, healthy levels of psychological and physical functioning. In the McCauley et al.25 model, resilience is illustrated as a psychological pre-injury “host” factor that can affect emotional consequence, following mild traumatic brain injury (TBI). National resilience (NR) in the domain of psychology is referred by Eshel and Kimhi26 as the equilibrium of comprehended national strength and vulnerability after a catastrophic or a disturbing incident. Aburn et al.27 defined five principal subjects of psychological resilience notion including rising above to overcome adversity, adaptation and adjustment, ‘ordinary magic’, good mental health as a proxy for resilience, and the ability to bounce back. Johnson et al.28 illustrated resilience as factors that may defend any emotional turbulence due to the failure, mistakes or errors. Consequently, results demonstrated that higher self-esteem, more positive attributional style and lower levels of socially prescribed perfectionism may confer resilience to emotional distress in response to failure. The concept of resilience has been extensively studied in subdomains of the psychological domain such as psychology multidisciplinary129-, psychology clinical3031, and psychology psychiatry323334.

3.1.3. Computer science resilience

Resilience in computer science domain is considered as the capability of an engineering system to sustain an admissible level of desirable service in against of any deficiency and malfunction to normal operation. Malfunctions can be an uncomplicated misconfiguration over large scale catastrophic phenomena to targeted attacks.

The perspective of Amann and James35 about resilience in computer science domain covered a number of relevant aspects of resilience in the digital forensic investigation including education and skills, adaptiveness, ability to systematically produce sound results, speed, and quality in conducting digital investigations. Finocchi et al.36 pointed out that an algorithm or a data structure in computer science is resilient to memory faults if, regardless of the corruption of some memory values during its existence, it is nevertheless able to generate a correct output at least on the set of uncorrupted values. According to Goerger et al.37, the four key properties of a computer resilience department of defense system are the ability to repel/resist/absorb, ability to recover, and ability to adapt. Computer science resilience definitions can be found more extensively in3839.

3.1.4. Engineering resilience

Resilience engineering (RE) concept is relatively new definition looking for safety and efficiency improvement in engineering systems, whilst malfunction investigation has flourished and been applied over the past 60 years by professional engineers. Resilience notion has broadened the focus of engineering complex socio technical systems beyond traditional discussions of robustness, reliability, and risk management. According to Serna et al.40, RE illustrated that destruction is the different side of the adaptations essential to tackle with the complication of the engineering system rather than a failure as such. Sheridan41 defined RE concept is positioning in the direction of establishment procedure instead of human error and is interested in prognosticating, mollifying, and arranging for desirable recovery. Zhang and Luttervelt42 pointed out that, the notion of resilience in engineered systems, referring to their potency to rehabilitate their functions after partial traumas to cause to successes from destructions. Steen and Aven43 demonstrate that RE is all measures conducted to a system to remain in its functions during a perturbation. Resilience in physic and engineering domains is referred by Spiegler et al.44 as the capability of a material to bounce back to its original form after being deformed or in another word elastic behaviour capability of martial. The conceptual structure of RE defined by Francis and Bekera45 contained both resilience capacities like absorption, conformity, and recovery besides maintaining in prearranged system performance as resilience objective. According to Salzano46 RE should be allocated to the conception of the development of any engineering system when losing its dynamic consistency, as a result of erosion of safety level. Sophisticated definitions of systemic resilience engineering model (SyRes) suggested by Lundberg and Johansson47 encompassed six functions of anticipation, monitoring, response, recovery, learning, and self-monitoring. Integrated RE (IRE) for the first time was defined by Azadeh et al.48 with synthesization four additional principles into classic RE like, self-organization, teamwork, redundancy, and fault tolerant.

3.2. Analysis and synthesis of resilience definitions

From resilience definitions in various domains, it can be seen that resilience concept is both multidisciplinary and multifaceted. Many definitions of resilience concept currently exist and there is no distinctive intuition about how to define the resilience capacities and objectives, nevertheless, among various resilience definitions multiple similarities can be identified and the core fundamentals of resilience notion have remained constant. Highlighted summarizes of resilience definitions reviewed above are as below:

  • Most of the resilience characteristics were defined in the reviews are equivalent to perturbation resistance, whilst many others resources used resilience concept as a term of recovery. However, amongst all literature, only a few papers explicitly demonstrated resilience to include both concepts of perturbation resistance that are the ability of systems or communities to persist through a perturbation, and recovery, or the rate at which systems or communities return to its desired state.
  • For psychological resilience, some definitions like Aburn et al.27 highlighted the probable deficiency of particularly focusing in a positivist paradigm when researching resilience, therefore social constructionism may prepare a useful lens to inform future research.
  • Some definitions like Steen and Aven49, and Spiegler et al.44, highlight that remaining or completely returning to its original performance level is needed for resilience, whilst several kinds of literature do not emphasize that the system should have returned to pre disaster state.
  • Results in some studies illustrated that the most critical factors among all RE components are awareness, preparedness, and flexibility, whilst redundancy is the factor with the lowest impact on RE.

Consequently, the rest of literature review consists of the following structure. Section 4 resilience engineering categorization and various definitions of resilience based on different engineering sub-disciplines, section 5 provides a comprehensive knowledge of measuring and assessing vulnerability and resiliency of critical offshore infrastructure systems. Section 6 develops some future research directions regards to the challenges and current knowledge gaps of RE and its application. Finally, we provide a conclusion in Section 7.

  1. Multiplicities of RE definitions and its categorization – Why are we measuring RE?

As previously mentioned our affirmation is on resilience phenomenon in engineering systems in view of the fact that its focus includes high tech methodology designed by professional engineers have dealings with humans and technology in the context of anticipation, absorption, reliability, and restoration during catastrophic incidents, like the devastation of offshore oil platforms. Therefore, various definitions of RE for multiple engineering sub-disciplines according to the different resources perspectives have been provided. This section was accompanied by several classified subsections to categorize RE from different point of views like journals, territories, authors, publication year, and citations relations.

4.1. Resilience engineering categorization

4.1.1. RE subdisciplines categorization

From Table 1 it is clear that 6881 (14.308 %) publications out of 48,092 are related to resilience in engineering domain, showing the considerable contribution of resilience concept in this area. In this subsection, the major subdisciplines of resilience in various engineering fields have been drawn out. Table 2 demonstrates the 16 main engineering subdisciplines of resilience along with the number of papers and percentages of them from 6881 related data. As can be seen from Table 2, the notion of resilience is quite multidisciplinary inherently among other engineering fields. Engineering electrical electronic field has the most contribution in resilience and with 4042 occurrences (nearly 60.000 % of the total number of related publications) containing the greatest number of publications. The rest of approximately 40.000 % of publications can be found in other engineering fields like civil, environmental, industrial, petroleum, and so on.

Table 2

Main Engineering Subdisciplines Related to Resilience (from WoS)

Resilience Main Engineering Subdisciplines Papers included RE in Research Areas of 6881 Records
Record Count % of 6881
Engineering Electrical Electronic 4042 58.741 %
Engineering Civil 1012 14.707 %
Engineering Chemical 560 8.138 %
Engineering Mechanical 474 6.888 %
Engineering Geological 259 3.764 %
Engineering Multidisciplinary 246 3.575 %
Engineering Manufacturing 228 3.313 %
Engineering Industrial 184 2.674 %
Engineering Aerospace 180 2.616 %
Engineering Biomedical 159 2.312 %
Engineering Environmental    143 2.078 %
Engineering Ocean 59 0.857 %
Engineering Computer Science Software 46 0.668 %
Engineering Petroleum 22 0.320 %
Engineering Marine 17 0.247 %
Engineering Agricultural 4 0.058 %

To better understand the relative interaction among these subdisciplines, VOSviewer11, a well-known mapping tool, was used to visualize and analyze trends in the resilience engineering literature. After extracting data from the Web of Science they were loaded into VOSviewer11. One of the main characteristics of this software is showing the interconnections of each item (domain) together via “link strength” parameter. Link strength is a square matrix that represents for each pair of domains in the network the strength of the link between the domains. The strength of a link is defined by a non-negative number. If there is no link between two research areas, the strength of the link between them equals zero. As can be seen from Fig. 4, the concept of resilience in each subdiscipline is demonstrated by a cluster. The small cluster at the center of all engineering sub-disciplines network is addressed to the mechanical engineering field which connected to many other areas like electrical electronic engineering with the biggest cluster and one of the strongest link of that connected to civil engineering field with link strength of 17 shows a strong linkage between these two subdisciplines. Geological and ocean engineering with link strength of 66 and 20 besides industrial engineering with link strength of 6 are the most important engineering sub-disciplines connected to civil engineering. Details demonstrate that even though RE concept inherently has many subdisciplines, the propagation of this concept seems to be somewhat isolated within electrical electronic, mechanical, and civil engineering fields. Consequently, this would point out that precious data is potentially stranded within resilience subdisciplines, and is not being used by and benefiting the larger scientific community studying RE.

Fig.4. A snapshot of clusters based on resilience main engineering sub-disciplines, created by VOSviewer11. Multiplicities of RE subdisciplines definitions

RE has been demonstrated and applied in a heterogeneity of ways in various engineering sub-disciplines, therefore in recent years, its definition has been proliferated. Table 3.

Table 3.

Resilience engineering definitions from various engineering sub-disciplines

RE Definition, Characteristics, and References 
Engineering Electrical “The capability of an electrical System-of-Systems (SoS) to absorb the impact of a damage, stay at the desired level of performance and sustain that level for an acceptable period.” Chin et al.50
Engineering Civil “The degree to which the complex social–physical civil systems diminish the level of service malfunction magnitude and duration over its design life when subject to catastrophic events.” Butler et al.51
Engineering Chemical “The new concept of resilience safety culture for the petrochemical plant was defined not only as the way of preventing the occurrence of accidents but also recuperation after an upset.” Shirali et al.52
Engineering Mechanical “The ability of a time-dependent mechanical system to maintain function without failures, or reliability and to recover from misfortunes, or recoverability.” Yodo and Wang53
Engineering Geological “The policies that directly help to alleviate the damage during a geological incident, whilst the degree of a geological resilience depends on what has been done to tackle with the hazard.” Pavlovic54
Engineering Multidisciplinary “Community disaster resilience in multidisciplinary engineering is commonly conceptualized as the capacity to reduce post event lose and facilitate effective recovery.”  Huling and Miles55
Engineering Manufacturing “Anticipation of disturbances and ability to rehabilitation the manufacturing system to the original state or, if need be, some acceptable state that is different but still safe.” Sheridan41
Engineering Industrial “The resilience in industrial domain combines two dimensions: agility, which expresses reactive strategies, and robustness including proactive strategies.” Heinicke56
Engineering Aerospace “The ability of a global air transportation system from a complex network point of view to respond to a disturbance within a time horizon by transient perturbation.” Koelle57
Engineering Biomedical “The de facto outline for enhancing biomedical preparedness, response, and recovery increasing capacities in numerous dimensions like human, physical, and financial capital.” Benjamin et al.58
Engineering Environmental “The capacity of an environmental system like energy system to backup, on-site generation and the efficacy of maintenance systems to prevent disasters or react quickly.” Fonseca and Schlueter59
Engineering Ocean “The ability of a coastal system to maintain and recover its structural and functional performance following a disturbance such as a short-term excess of forces of coastal storms.” Manhar R. et al.60
Engineering Computer Science Software “The property that enables a heterogeneous software system to continue operating properly when faults occur like node breakdown, communication failure, or data processing failure.” Lu et al.61
Engineering Petroleum “The ability of critical offshore infrastructures like oil platforms to respond to the actual, to monitor the critical, to anticipate the potential and to learn from the factual.” Apneseth et al.62
Engineering Marine “Safety critical marine infrastructure systems resilience is an unprecedented management tactic to gain a high level of security in an uncertain and dynamic environment.” John and Nwaoha63
Engineering Agricultural “The probability recovery of an agricultural water supply reservoir from failure to some acceptable state within a specified time interval.” Jared L et al.64

4.1.2. RE journals categorization

The primary online search demonstrated that there are several different journals that published papers related to RE notion. To display the main journals that published papers related to RE and its application to critical infrastructure systems, the database was extracted from the Web of Science and loaded to VOSviewer11 again. To refine the data precisely, a minimum number of 10 citations to a source is used to identify the primary sources in the domain of RE. Out of 6881 sources in the database, 330 met this threshold and after refinement only 30 of them were used to construct the network. Among the selected journals, Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety, Safety Science, Optical Engineering, Journal of Water Recourses Planning and Management, Natural Hazards Review, Procedia Computer Science, Journal of Infrastructure Systems and Cognition, Technology and Work are the most remarkable journals related to the selected topic. A visualization of publication sources is provided in Fig.4, where the size of the clusters is scaled by the number of papers to each source.

Fig.5. 30 primary journal sources, created by VOSviewer11 from WoS.

As can be seen from Fig.5, three clusters of journal sources are recognized. Generally speaking, it is obvious that RE research is disseminated via a wide network of publication sources encompassing a number of different journals. The main core of purple clusters is occupied with Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety journal, with 381 citations that are the largest cluster containing the greatest number of papers, connecting to 12 items such as Safety Science with 211 and Cognition, Technology and Work journals with 45 citations. The light green clusters represent 13 connected items containing, Natural Hazards Review, Water Recourses Planning and Management and Structural Engineering journals with 55, 45, and 10 citations, respectively, while the red cluster contains just only one cluster, demonstrating Optical Engineering journal with 35 citations. Table 4 indicates 30 main journals publishing studies on resilience engineering and its application to critical infrastructure systems.


Main journals of RE and its application to critical infrastructure systems research (from WoS, August 2017)

Journal Title Papers included RE Principles of 330 Records Papers included RE Application of 23 Records
Record Count % of 330 Record Count % of 23
Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety 30 9.091 % 4 17.391 %
Lecture Notes in Computer Science 24 7.273 % 1 4.348 %
Safety Science 19 5.758 % 1 4.348 %
Optical Engineering 17 5.152 % 0 0.000%
Water Recourses Planning and Management 14 4.242 % 1 4.348 %
Natural Hazards Review 14 4.242 % 1 4.348 %
Procedia Computer Science 14 4.242 % 0 0.000%
Journal of Infrastructure Systems 13 3.939 % 3 13.043 %
Cognition, Technology and Work 12 3.636 % 0 0.000%
Natural Hazards 12 3.636 % 2 8.696 %
Journal of Structural Engineering 11 3.333 % 1 4.348 %
Process Safety and Environmental Protection 10 3.030 % 1 4.348 %
Scientific Reports 10 3.030 % 0 0.000%
Prevention Assessment  Rehabilitation 10 3.030 % 0 0.000%
Annual IEEE Systems Conference 9 2.727 % 2 8.696 %
Applied Mechanics and Materials 8 2.424 % 0 0.000%
Plos One 8 2.424 % 1 4.348 %
Proceeding of Spie 8 2.424 % 0 0.000%
Proceedings of the Institution of civil eng 8 2.424 % 0 0.000%
Transportation Research Procedia 8 2.424 % 1 4.348 %
Biomacromolecules 7 2.121 % 0 0.000%
Ecology and Society 7 2.121 % 0 0.000%
IEEE Systems Journal 7 2.121 % 0 0.000%
Journal of Hydrologic Engineering 7 2.121 % 0 0.000%
Performance of Constructed Facilities 7 2.121 % 0 0.000%
Safety Reliability and Risk Analysis Beyond 6 1.818 % 1 4.348 %
Procedia Engineering 6 1.818 % 1 4.348 %
Polymer Engineering and Science 6 1.818 % 0 0.000%
Marine Ecology Progress Series 6 1.818 % 0 0.000%
Journal of Mechanical Design 6 1.818 % 0 0.000%

As shown in Table 4, Reliability Engineering and Systems Safety journal with 30 papers focus on RE (9.091 % of 330 related publications in these 30 main journals) and 4 papers related to RE application into critical infrastructure systems (17.391 % of the total number of the publications) is the most important journal with the most number of related publications. Safety Science is the other main source with the most number of documents in RE concept with 19 papers related to RE (5.758 %) while its contribution in RE application is negligible with just 1 paper (4.348 %). Accordingly, Journal of Infrastructure Systems with 3 papers (13.043 %) is the second most important source in RE application into critical infrastructure systems, although the contribution of that in RE concept is far away from other journals like Safety Science and Optical Engineering.

4.1.3. RE territories categorization

To identify the geographical distribution of RE publications besides understanding the collaboration among different countries, a country/territory refinement through the Web of Science is developed. Refinement was applied by considering a minimum number of document and citation of a country 4 and 100, respectively and by doing so 30 countries were selected. Fig.6 demonstrates major countries with the highest contribution to the field of RE research. The number of publications from each country scales the size of the clusters. As can be seen from the Fig.6, USA and England with 570 and 190 publications (38.000 % and 12.667 % of the 1500 publications), are the top two affiliated with RE research, followed by China with 106 (7.067 %), Australia with 98 (6.533 %), and Italy with 83 (5.533 %) publications, respectively. The distance and the thickness of links among clusters illustrate the relatedness and the number of co-authorships.

Fig.6. 25 major countries with the highest contribution in RE domain, created by VOSviewer11 from WoS.

Table 5 demonstrates the 11 major countries with the highest contribution to the field of RE in each cluster along with the number of papers, percentages, and citations of them from 1500 related data. By identifying geographical distribution of RE, literature review highlights that resilience has been predominantly studied in the USA and there is a clear distinction between developed and developing territories in this area.

Table 5

Major countries with the highest contribution to the field of RE (from WoS)

Highest Contribution Countries in RE concept Papers included RE in Each Country of 1500 Records
Record Count % of 1500 Citation
USA 570 38.000 % 6850
ENGLAND 190 12.667 % 2173
CHINA 106 7.067 % 605
AUSTRALIA 98 6.533 % 1602
ITALY 83 5.533 % 858
GERMANY 77 5.133 % 1267
FRANCE 70 4.667 % 618
CANADA 66 4.400 % 1034
NETHERLANDS 62 4.133 % 1289
BRAZIL 48 3.200 % 266
IRAN 39 2.600 % 223

4.1.4. Categorize by Authors, publication year and citations relations

In order to investigate the expansion of RE concept publications over the time with considering their authors, CitNetExplorer12 a software tool for visualizing and analyzing citation networks of scientific journals was used. This software visualizes the most important RE papers and demonstrates the citation relations between these papers to illustrate how publications build on each other. For this purpose, the 1500 publication database related to RE was extracted from the Web of Science and loaded into CitNetExplorer12 citation network analysis tool. As can be seen from Fig.7. Each cluster demonstrates a publication and they are labeled by the last name of the first author. To prevent overlapping labels only the 50 most frequently cited publications are included in the visualization and a minimum number of citations considered to be 10, although some labels may not be displayed. It can be identified that the horizontal location of a cluster is determined by its citations relations with other publications while the vertical location of a cluster is determined by its publication year. The curved lines represent citation relations and the cited publication is always located above the citing publication. Fig.7. demonstrates that RE concept was firstly introduced in 1973 with the highly cited paper (cit. score 117) of C.S. Holling2 in Resilience and Stability of Ecological Systems journal. In this paper, the ecological concept and the behavior of natural systems were identified to consider implication for the resilience and stability viewpoints of the behavior of the ecological system, the role of versatility and consistency of ecological communities, and maintenance of the flow of energy and nutrients. From Fig.7, it can be illustrated that there is a gap in efficacious literature after the original work of Holling2 until RE concept started to gain increased consideration in 1984 with the artistical publications of Pimm65 and Perrow66 followed by publications of other authors such as Reason67, Rasmussen68, and again Holling2 in the 1990s.

Fig.7. Citation network of the RE literature created using the CitNetExplorer12 citation network analysis tool. Highlighted clusters indicate the last name of the first author of the most frequently cited publications till 2000.

To better classify the publications in the desired time span for example 2000 to 2017, the identified publications are clustered into four groups and illustrated in Fig.8, using the CitNetExplorer12 based on the clustering algorithm explained in12. From Fig.8, it is obvious publications in purple and light blue clusters, referred to as groups 1&3, with 250&194 publications and citation links of 758&730, respectively predominantly focused on RE concept in different disciplines. The clusters of publications in these both groups are strongly connected to each other in terms of citation relations. Light green clusters with 208 publications and citation links of 436 identified as group 2 are dominantly concentrated on RE concept and its application to critical infrastructure systems, while red clusters or group 4 of publications with 42 publications and 233 citation links are located relatively far from other clusters. Group 4 has weaker citation links in comparison to other three groups as the former focuses mainly on the critical infrastructure systems. Consequently as can be seen, the use of the CitNetExplorer12 has considerably contributed to the development of our literature review, to the development of a citation network and to its visualization in a quite detailed way.

Fig.8. Citation network of the RE literature created using the CitNetExplorer12 citation network analysis tool. Classification of the publications in the desired time span (2000 to 2017) into four different groups

5.  RE & critical offshore infrastructure systems – How can we apply RE to critical offshore infrastructure systems?

5.1. Critical infrastructure systems

Critical Infrastructure Systems (CISs) or Critical National Infrastructure Systems (CNIs) is an expression used to demonstrate essential public artifacts thriving society and economy of the nations. They demonstrate a tremendous governmental investment, and, meanwhile are the powerful engine of economic. Therefore, oil and gas production platforms, telecommunication, transportation systems, and water supply, inter alia, can be considered as offshore or onshore critical infrastructure systems being subdisciplines of the engineering domain like engineering civil, engineering petroleum, engineering marine, and engineering ocean among other subdisciplines, since their establishment and restoration implicate engineering awareness. Table 6 demonstrates engineering sub-disciplines relevant to critical infrastructure systems, besides their contributions in this area. As can be seen from the table 6 the contribution of some engineering fields such as electrical electronic (e.g. electricity generation, transmission, and distribution) and civil (e.g. airports, bridges, and dams) are much more than the other fields. Given our interest in critical offshore infrastructure systems, we would mainly focus on related engineering sub disciplines including civil, marine and ocean.

Table 6

Engineering Subdisciplines Related to CISs (from WoS)

CISs Engineering Subdisciplines Papers included CISs in Research Areas of 67 Records
Record Count % of 67
Engineering Electrical Electronic 23 34.328 %
Engineering Civil 17 25.373 %
Engineering Chemical 5 7.463 %
Engineering Geological 4 5.970 %
Engineering Manufacturing 4 5.970 %
Engineering Mechanical 4 5.970 %
Engineering Multidisciplinary 3 4.478 %
Engineering Aerospace 2 2.985 %
Engineering Environmental 2 2.985 %
Engineering Marine 2 2.985 %
Engineering Computer Science Software 1 1.493 %
Engineering Ocean 1 1.493 %

5.2. Assessing vulnerabilities in CISs

Generally speaking, vulnerability is identified as catastrophic accidents that consequences in some degree of loss, integrate with the human capacity to resist, prepare for and recover from the same event. According to McEntire69 vulnerability is specified by the degree of risk, susceptibility, resistance and resilience that is affiliated component of catastrophic accidents. Critical infrastructure systems as a result of their geographical location are tremendously susceptible to various sorts of threat such as all kinds of organizational factors, technological factors, natural and manmade disasters, hampering the critical infrastructure systems’ performances. During the last decades, many critical infrastructure systems suffered from deterioration that impacted the national and international economic situations such as:

  • Ixtoc I well blowout (The Gulf of Mexico, 1979), where the rig collapsed and sank onto the wellhead area on the seabed, littering the seabed with large debris. Christou and Konstantinidou70.
  • Piper Alpha offshore oil and gas platform explosion (The North Sea, 1988), where the gas bursts into flames and exploded, generating fires and damage to other areas with the further release of gas and oil. Christou and Konstantinidou70.
  • Ekofisk Bravo production well blowout (The North Sea, 1977), where the well blowing out with an uncontrolled release of oil and gas, Adriatic IV rig blowout (Mediterranean Sea, Egypt, 2004), where reports state that there was an explosion followed by fire, which was initially contained on the jack-up. Christou and Konstantinidou70.
  • Montara Wellhead Platform blowout (Timor Sea, Australia, 2009), where an uncontrolled release of oil and gas occurred from the H1 well, and lastly Macondo well Blowout (Gulf of Mexico, 2010), where causing catastrophic condition that sank the Deepwater Horizon drifting rig and spilled over 4 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico, among others are the most highlighted previous accidents. Christou and Konstantinidou70.

In critical infrastructure systems, the procedure of measuring vulnerabilities encompasses the recognition of threats interrelated with the infrastructure besides evolution of prohibition, probability, and emergency procedures that enables systems to preserve functionality. The purpose is to hamper malfunctions in a proactive way rather than to deal with a crisis in a reactive manner. Mansouri et al.71.Therefore, according to Omer et al.72, the design and operation of critical infrastructure systems should be in a procedure that can demonstrate robustness against less powerful operational and financial variations and highlight RE, encountering significant disturbance and hampering its desirable operation. Also implementing RE demands to know how much resilience is already included in an engineering system and the influence of applying measures that boosting the system’s resiliency.

5.3. RE of critical offshore infrastructure systems

Critical Offshore Infrastructure Systems (COISs) like offshore seaports, waterways, oil, and gas production platforms and their intermodal connections are prone to various hazards and high level of functional unpredictability in their demanding sphere of operations as a result of their dynamic interactions and interdependencies. John and Nwaoha63. Consequently, based on Madni and Jackson73 the safety of critical offshore infrastructure systems encountering situations of high unpredictability and disruption that hamper the conventional performances of systems by creating malfunctions, systematic failures, disruptions, discontinuity, or displacement of its functions. Thus in a dynamic environment, it is extremely crucial to make sure resilience of their maritime functionality.

5.3.1. Literature including RE definitions of COISs

The evolution of RE provide intuition into and enhance the deficiencies of the current techniques in the evaluation of high reliability, complicated and sociotechnical engineering systems such as the critical offshore infrastructure systems.  According to John and Nwaoha63 application of RE in feasible implementations of complex systems operations such as critical offshore infrastructure systems can help to enhance the consciousness of affiliations in a realistic procedure. Implementing RE in Offshore Transportation Systems (OTSs) was defined by Omer et al.72 to improve their capability to tackle with malfunctions and consequently diminishing losses.  Therefore, the methodology of the networked infrastructure resiliency assessment framework was applied to diminish the system’s vulnerability and enhance its adaptive capacity. After the September 11 terrorist attack and the impossibility of infrastructures protection by entirely eradicating occurrence of catastrophic phenomena, the department of homeland security74 shifted Critical Offshore Infrastructure Protection (COIP) plan to Critical Offshore Infrastructure Resilience (COIR) plan to not only promote security and reduce the susceptibility of the critical offshore infrastructure systems to manmade and natural disruptions, but also allows the system to ‘bounce back’ after severe disruptions. Sandia National Laboratories pointed out that the resilience of critical offshore infrastructure systems to the catastrophic incidents is the capability to effectively diminish both the immensity and period of the deviance from desirable system performances. Vugrin et al.75 in sustainable and resilient critical infrastructure systems book pointed out that, the resilience of an engineering system to the disruptive event is the capability of that particular system to efficiently diminish magnitude and duration of the deviation from targeted system performance levels together. The accentuation of this definition is a combination of the impact of the incidents on the engineering systems and the period and cost demanded the systems recover by some terms including system performance, efficiency, disruptive event, measurement of system resilience costs, and targeted system performance level.

Using the definitions provided by literature including RE of COISs, a resilient system can:

  • Boost the deficiencies of the current techniques in the evaluation of high reliability, complicated and sociotechnical engineering systems like COISs.
  • Boost consciousness of affiliations in a realistic process.
  • Boost engineering systems capability to cope with hazards and consequently decreasing hazards.
  • Diminish the engineering system’s vulnerability and enhance its adaptive capacity.
  • Boost security and reduce the susceptibility of the engineering systems and allows the system to re-organize after a disturbance to resume functionality.
  • Effectively decrease both the immensity and period of threats.

5.3.2. Achieving RE in COISs

Based on Dalziell and McManus76 system resilience is a function of diminishing the vulnerability and causing it less susceptible to disturbances, whilst enhancing its adaptive capacity and letting the system to reconfigure its structure to better replicated to system disturbances consequently leading to a more resilient system. From Fig.9 the 8 dimensions that diminish the vulnerability (e.g. hardening, redundancy, capacity tolerance, adaptability, modularity, subsistence, diversity, mobility) and 8 dimensions that enhance adaptive capacity (e.g. autonomous change, resource allocation, fair governance, collaboration, preparedness, leadership, resources, and cognition) of the systems defined by Omer et al.77 and Gupta et al.78 can be seen. Some of these dimensions relate to the physical structure of the critical offshore infrastructure systems, whilst others demonstrate the organizational or even both the socio-technical features of them. Fig.8 summarises different dimensions for achieving resiliency.

Fig.9. Dimensions for increasing resiliency of CIOs by diminishing vulnerability and enhancing adaptive capacity

Diminishing vulnerability dimensions of the engineering systems descriptions are:

  • Hardening: boosting the structural integrity of the infrastructure system.
  • Redundancy: resume to the operation of parallel systems when the original one fails to do.
  • Capacity tolerance: enabling the system to accommodate demand beyond its regular demand.
  • Adaptability: changing system performance regardless of its preparedness level.
  • Modularity: comprising systems that can be easily segregated and recombined.
  • Subsistence: gathering the items that systems require to carry it through a disaster.
  • Diversity: disassembling loosely coupled alternative systems.
  • Mobility: having access to transportation in the disastrous events of evacuation.

Enhancing adaptive capacity dimensions of the engineering systems descriptions are:

  • Autonomous change room: accessibility of data within institutional memory and early warning systems to individuals.
  • Resources allocation: using available resources, especially in the near term, to achieve goals for the future.
  • Fair governance: existing of public support for a specific institution, the fairness of institutional rules, the responsibility of institutional patterns to society, and providing accountability procedures by institutional patterns.
  • Collaboration: sending and receipt of information across all the sub networks of the infrastructure system.
  • Preparedness: preparing the engineering system for malfunctions by applying policies that manage the consequences of hazards and facilitate the recovery process.
  • Leadership: area for long-term visions and reformist, leaders that stimulate actions, and who encourage collaboration between different actors.
  • Resources: availability of expertise, knowledge and human labor, financial resources to support policy measures and financial incentives.
  • Cognition: boosting infrastructure systems capacities to perceive the occurring changes.

5.3.3. Quantification of RE in COISs

As the management adage goes, “that which it can’t measure it can’t manage”. Accordingly, in order to see any real resilience progress in any actual organizations, demands for sophisticated metrics methodologies of quantifying and benchmarking the resilience is unavoidable. Moreover, the proposed metrics methodologies should be meaningful to those with influence within the organizations. Dalziell and McManus76. Generally speaking, assessment frameworks of resilience engineering systems like critical offshore infrastructure systems involves two significant elements. The first element is a systemic impact, demonstrating the dissimilarity between desirable systems performance and real system performance during and after catastrophic phenomena. The second element is the total recovery effort, which is a number of resources consumed during the recovery procedure. More precisely, assessing RE of critical offshore infrastructure systems needs both the assessment of systemic impact and total recovery effort together. To determine, assess, and eventually design of offshore infrastructure systems resilience, three inherent properties or capacities are defined including (a) absorptive capacity, (b) adaptive capacity, and (c) restorative capacity. Here in after to improve system resiliency, resilience enhancement features can be designed to enhance aforementioned capacities. Vugrin et al75. Fig.10 demonstrates the relationships between the components of the resilience assessment framework.

Fig.10. Capacities and measures of resilience according to Vugrin et al.75

In order to quantify RE in engineering systems, several different frameworks by various authors were defined in details. Frameworks create methodologies for measuring systemic impact and total recovery efforts to define and assess various system capacities, besides designing economical resilience enhancement features, to achieve more resilient critical infrastructure systems. The subsections below will demonstrate a short review of existing resilience quantification frameworks, implementing across different critical offshore and onshore infrastructure systems. Existing RE frameworks

Table 7 demonstrates Existing resilience engineering frameworks.

Table 7

Existing RE frameworks

Frameworks Name Descriptions and References
Domains of Resilience Four interrelated dimensions including technical, organizational, social, and economic (TOSE) framework for interpreting system resilience, which was named after the important domains in which it should be implemented. Bruneau et al.79
Complex Systems Resilience A crucial aspects resilience framework in terms of the ease of moving a system across a threshold that leads to a completely different state of the system and may not always be applicable within the TOSE framework. Walker et al.80
Human-Social Systems Resilience A framework for evaluating the resilience of social-economic systems, which are driven basically by ecology but have consequences on or are affected by human-social systems. The Resilience Alliance81
Seismic Resilience of 


A conceptual metric framework to define seismic resilience of communities relying on the complementary measures of resilience including reduced failure probabilities, reduced consequences from failures, and reduced time to recovery. Bruneau et al.82
Probability-Based Resilience A probabilistic framework for quantifying resilience, which they mathematically define in terms of pre-defined performance standards A, considering a seismic incident of magnitude i. Chang and Shinozuka83
Economic Resilience A metrics framework for evaluating static and dynamic economic resilience quantities, proposing the static economic resilience of a system to a shock be measured as the ratio of the avoided drop in system output and the max potential drop in system output and applies this metric to assess the resilience of a system at any given instant in time. Rose84
Resilience Curve A metrics framework often used to illustrate resilience engineering undergoing a disruptive incident, implementing with many researchers to quantitatively measure the resilience level of the engineering systems. Wang and Yodo53
Resilience Pre Post Disruptions 


A resilience metrics framework as the ratio of system performance before (pre-) and after (post-) disruption to quantify the performance changes. Wang and Yodo53
Resilience Based on Reliability and Restoration A metrics framework to quantify resilience with two indispensable attributes as reliability (quantifies the capability of an engineering system to remain its capacity and performance above a safety limit during a given period of time under stated conditions) and restoration (quantifies the capability of an engineering system to restore its capacity and performance by detecting, predicting, and mitigating of catastrophic phenomena. Wang and Yodo53 RE quantification frameworks in COISs

Quantification of RE on the implementation of critical infrastructure systems like COISs is an extremely demanding task. In the last decades, a number of metric frameworks have been identified and applied to quantify various aspects of engineering systems response to calamities including system reliability, resilience, flexibility, robustness among others, are some of the proposed metrics. The resilience engineering metric frameworks are one of the extensive metrics that integrates the pre-and post-hazard performance of the system.

  • Recently, a multidimensional quantification framework was demonstrated via extending previous resilience models by Dessavre et al.85 to compare the RE of systems among systems or various rectifications to a complex engineering system like COISs, by introducing a new dimension to the previous system resilience models, called stress, to emulate the concept of resilience in material science.
  • A quantification RE framework established by R. Francis and B. Bekera, including five main elements: system identification, vulnerability analysis, resilience objective setting, stakeholder engagement and resilience capacities was developed by Sánchezperal86. The main objective of the aforementioned framework has acquired the capability of fully restoring the functionality following an extreme incident of any structure like COISs through the use of risk-based analysis and decision making methods. In this research, the process of recovery was also comprehensively inspected, whether from deliberate attacks, accidents or naturally occurring threats or incidents, as it is considered the core basis of resilience.
  • Azadeh et al.87 used a Fuzzy Cognitive Maps (FCMs) method as an RE quantification framework that considers interactions between factors due to their final calculated weights. Primary objective this research is to quantify the factors affecting the resilient level of a petrochemical plant and to be capable of getting expanded to other engineering systems like critical offshore infrastructure.
  • Omer et al.72 proposed Networked Infrastructure Resiliency Assessment (NIRA) framework as a three resiliency metrics methodology for quantification of RE of Maritime Transportation Systems (MTSs) according to the key performance criteria. Therefore, authors considered RE is quantified as a proportion of the value delivery of the engineering system prior to a perturbation to the value delivery of the engineering system after happening a perturbation, given the time it takes for the engineering system to resume full functionality.
  • Vugrin et al.75 demonstrated a three-part resilience quantification framework for assessing the resilience of critical infrastructure systems including a definition of system resilience, an approach for quantitatively measuring system resilience costs, and a qualitative method for evaluating features that determine system resilience.
  • Mansouri et al.71 develop a Risk Management-based Decision Analysis framework (RMDA) to demonstrate RE of Offshore Port Infrastructure Systems (OPISs) as a function of system’s vulnerability versus potential disturbance, and its adaptive capacity in recovering to an acceptable level of service within a reasonable time period after being influenced by disturbance. In this paper, the reactivity of offshore port infrastructure systems has been examined in two distinguished domains that are before and after facing disruption mentioning as prevention and recovery phases.
  • A quantitative resiliency metric framework based on the system behavior described as Continuous Time Markov Chains (CTMC) models were derived by Luo et al.88. Based on this model, for engineering systems like COISs two states were considered including normal state, representing normal function of a system and change state, representing an unpredictable event or incident happens and causes a non-fatal change that may reduce system performance
  • Shafieezadeh and Burden89 implemented a probabilistic metric framework for scenario-based resilience quantification of a hypothetical seaport terminal infrastructure system. The method accounts for unpredictability in the process and consists of several different modules including the correlation of the earthquake intensity measures, fragility quantification of structural components, evaluation a recovery plan for quantifying resources for repairing damaged components, the repair procedure, and eventually the service demands.

5.4. Data analysis and synthesis of RE in COISs

  • Perspectives on resilience in any kind of critical offshore infrastructure systems includes (a) ability to repel, resist, or absorb both natural or human made malfunctions, (b) ability to recover from disruptions like disasters or catastrophic incidents, and (c) ability to adapt to new or changed conditions as a results of man-made threats or natural catastrophic incidents.
  • Alleviating destructions to critical offshore infrastructure systems and securing continuity of the engineering systems service is sophisticated by the intrinsically interdependent nature of these systems, occurring when an infrastructure disruption proliferates beyond itself to cause a considerable effect on other infrastructures, and causing more impacts on still other dependent infrastructures.
  • Implementing resiliency creates a demand for metrics framework that quantifies the resiliency of the critical infrastructures both in offshore and onshore, the metrics framework can also be used as a benchmark to demonstrate the effect of various schemes that enhance resiliency.
  • Recovery is a basic facet of any engineering system resilience, uniform metric frameworks should explicitly consider the costs associated with critical infrastructures recovery.
  • From different resilience engineering quantification frameworks we can state that it is a challenging task to obtain a single resiliency metric framework that can fully describe the engineering system’s resiliency, therefore, multiple metrics framework is required to quantify how typical perturbations affect various aspects of the system.

6. Challenges and future research directions

According to the comprehensive systematic literature review presented in this study and to the various definitions of ‘resilience’ notion, resilience concept has yet to become an entirely interdisciplinary area, notwithstanding the multiple disciplines involved. But is resilience a quantity, a feature, a philosophy or as an ability of organizations or systems? Given the dependency of any organizations or systems to some concepts such as individual, organizational, supply chain, community, ecological, thus addressing this question would be challenging for experts from various perspectives. Therefore, supplementary research is indispensable to better figure out the obstructions, limitations, and diversities associated with this vital concept, and to identify approaches to ameliorate information sharing and collaboration among RE research fields. Additionally, as it is obvious assessing resilience engineering plays a vital function in defining resilience of engineering systems and further implementing the resilience notion in the engineering design procedures. Though it has been explored in various engineering sub-disciplines, hitherto, available engineering quantification metrics framework still demonstrate very little taxonomy, compromising on an extensive quantifiable measure maintains a challenge. Various procedures and perspectives including uncertainties should be taken into account when it comes to quantifying resilience engineering. Subsequently, in the following subsections, the challenges and the further future research directions are examined comprehensively. Thus, future research directions that are of interest to the resilience clique were demonstrated extensively, casting light on further research directions and stimulating more precious perceptions to clarify and address the research challenges in designing resilience engineering systems.

6.1. Challenges and knowledge gaps plus some future research directions

  1. How can consider resiliency in complex interdependent infrastructures?
  • Interdependency that is consist of interconnection and interaction of multiple components with each other in various different ways between system components would significantly enhance the complexity affiliating with hierarchy and the collective behavior of engineering systems. Therefore, highly coupled relationships among electric power, transportation, oil, natural gas, and telecommunication systems, among others can be identified and the resilience of one engineering system can impact the resilience of others. Considering the complexity of interdependent infrastructures, design decisions to ensure resilience of the interdependent system generally have to be made while concurrently considering the affordability. Consequently, an extensive research is needed to study of resilience engineering of interdependent infrastructures besides that an authentic cost assessment framework, considering all costs related to the improvements on each of the resilience attributes with the resilience strategies must be designed and implemented into the decision making procedure while designing an engineering system.
  1. Following resilient system designs achievement of engineering systems, which possible challenges could have emerged?
  • From various resilience metrics frameworks and the argumentation on their engineering design conceptions, it is suggested that resilience of engineering systems could be heightened through better design. The enhancement could be realized from the amelioration of designable resilience characteristics via authentic design policies. Here in after, according to Yodo and Wang53, possible challenges including (a) early awareness of potential catastrophic phenomena, (b) ability to anticipate resilience analysis, and (c) recovery strategies for design, among others along with their further research demands are illustrated extensively.

Being aware of probable catastrophic phenomena, classified according to the types, sources, or affect levels, such as natural disaster or human-made at the earliest opportunity along with being capable to quantify the resilience levels for various design substitutes, are two indispensable facts, considering to designers of the engineering systems at the earliest design stages, as they have to be aware of probable catastrophic phenomena, the factors of intricacy, and precariousness in their design implementations. Meanwhile, practical recovery strategies should be implemented in design, primarily relying on the allocation of redundancy, as it offers a substitute option for maintaining system functionality during a catastrophic phenomenon as a result of components or subsystems malfunctions. Given the deficiency of current practical recovery and restoration methods, future research should be deeply concentrated on defining and quantifying the new possible recovery strategies like self-healing materials defined by Hager et al.90 and Toohey et al.91  besides better implementation of existing recovery methods, such as an advanced operation and maintenance planning method.

  1. Could consider the sustainability of COIS into account be a fascinating expansion to the resilience conception?
  • Integrating resilience into the design and operation of engineering systems including COIS can be potentially costly. Nevertheless, investigations into their operations have demonstrated that losing the whole service delivery during or after perturbations could lead to a long-term consequence. Several dimensions that assist to enhance engineering resiliency by diminishing the system’s vulnerability and enhancing its adaptive capacity have been identified. Dalziell and McManus76. As a result, it seems in the near future, COIS economic participation increases much more than the previous and thus, there should be an enormous investment in offshore infrastructures, specifically where the current coastal ecosystems are the critical thresholds of repair, recovery or even beyond. Consequently, further research highlighted the need for implementing sustainability of critical offshore infrastructure systems as an expansion to the resilience conception.
  1. Is there any effective metrics framework that incorporates the effects of risks involved and quantifies resilience engineering in COIS for making investment strategies decisions?
  • Deficiency of an effective metrics framework that could implement and incorporate the impacts of risks involved and quantify RE in COIS for providing investment strategies decisions is unavoidable. In doing so, defining a metrics framework based on risk analysis and management methodologies, to facilitate understanding the nature of uncertainty in complex sociotechnical engineering systems like COIS and consequently to enable devising resilience strategies in regards to the known vulnerabilities of the system is really demanded. The proposed framework should then use decision-making analysis tools to select the best investment substitute in regards to the devised resilience strategies. It is anticipated that the proposed metrics framework could provide risk managers and COIS analysts with a flexible tool for use in understanding the importance of developing an organisational strategy in order to boost the resilience of the engineering system to unforeseen operational uncertainties in a transparent identification and mitigation manner.
  1. How can the integrity of the new metrics frameworks of COIS be practically examined?
  • Generally speaking, the validity of any metrics framework need to be testified by implementing them in real complex engineering systems in cooperation with industrial associates, an exemplary quantification will be made. An interesting follow-up to a full metrics frameworks of COIS quantification would be to examine the methodology on offshore infrastructure segments, such as oil and gas platforms, maritime seaports, among others. Quantification of risks for this evaluation is still untested. Specifically, modeling of the consequences, factors contributing to preventing catastrophic phenomena from occurring and modeling the interaction between failures modes need more comprehensive study. A challenge for a real-world application is to determine indicators and metrics that allow for real-time monitoring of the risk levels, thereby allowing a continuous perspective of engineering system’s vulnerability.

7.  Conclusion

The presented research used a systematic review of the literature to assess the linkages among current studies and to identify the potential technologies and practices that would address existing gaps and future perspectives within resilience notion in engineering systems and its implementation to critical offshore infrastructures. From the systematic literature review it can be identified that, although resilience concept has been evolved significantly in the last decades, there are still a number of challenges and key knowledge gaps in defining, achieving, quantifying, and applying it to the real phenomena. The examination of the publications related to resilience notion illustrates that this concept experienced a major and still continuing proliferate in the number of published papers. Accordingly, the essence of this study is to dispense statistical information of a large amount of data, not to make conclusions of individual occurrences. Based on the comprehensive systematic analysis, resilience research was found to be quite multiple disciplinary in nature both in research areas and engineering sub-disciplines but, however, was somewhat concentrated between two main research areas, environmental science & ecology and engineering. Also, resilience engineering isolated between two important engineering sub-disciplines including electrical electronic and civil engineering with the most related resources. From the journal categorization it can be found the participation of resilience engineering concept in some journals are much more than the others to address the question as to which journals form the core of RE research. The use of the CitNetExplorer has considerably contributed to the development of our research, to the creation of a citation network and to its visualization in a quite detailed way






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