Advanced Modeling & Techniques Investigation (AMTI)

The AMTI effort is a long-term investment in understanding critical infrastructures and their interdependencies.  Our purpose is to identify and develop theories, methods, and analytical tools that are useful for understanding the structure, function, and evolution of complex interdependent critical infrastructures.

Critical Infrastructures are formed by a large number of components that interact within complex networks. As a rule, infrastructures contain strong feedbacks either explicitly through the action of hardware/software control, or implicitly through the action/reaction of people. Individual infrastructures influence others and grow, adapt, and thus evolve in response to their multifaceted physical, economic, cultural, and political environments.

Simply put, critical infrastructures are complex adaptive systems.

Complexity makes understanding and modeling critical infrastructures difficult. Fortunately, there has been a great deal of basic research over the past few years focused on understanding complex adaptive systems and developing theories to explain how they behave under stress. This perspective may reveal strategies to make critical infrastructures more robust by strengthening components, or formulating long range policies whereby robustness evolves over time.


Example graphics of AMTI analysis outputAMTI has developed the Loki toolkit which allows for quick formulation and application of network models of complex systems.  The Loki toolkit is a set of components that can be selected, specialized, and combined to create models of diverse networks including power systems, pipelines, social networks, and financial networks, as well as interactions across these different networks.  The analysis and visualization resources provided by Loki, such as the network displays and statistical summaries illustrated here, allow us to rapidly gain insight into the behavior of networked systems.

Some Ongoing Investigations

The spread of an infectious disease such as influenza through a population depends on the network structure of the contacts among individuals.  These contacts adapt to the health of individuals and in response to policies for vaccination, social-distancing, or quarantine.  AMTI’s recent analyses demonstrate the potential of selective social-distancing to significantly delay the spread of pandemic influenza.

The electric power system is increasingly driven by competitive power markets, and the resulting transactions impose a new kind of stress on our legacy transmission system. AMTI is studying the interactions between the physical transmission network and the dynamic network of contractual obligations that form to satisfy demand, and the implications of these interactions for system resiliency.

Large banks and other financial institutions exchange more than $1 trillion dollars per day through wholesale payment systems.  Implicit cooperation among participants is essential for their reliable operation.  AMTI is studying the development of coordination among participants in large-value payment systems, and how behavior adapted under normal conditions can mitigate or amplify the effects of disruption.

This initial investigation has evolved into the Complex Adaptive System of Systems (CASoS) Engineering Initiative. An overview poster of this evolution can be downloaded: Low resolution (4 MB), or Higher resolution (11 MB).


Conference Papers and Presentations

University of New Mexico, Seminar for Computer Science class, April 21, 2010

University of Pittsburgh, December 14, 2009

Twenty-seventh International System Dynamics Conference. July 26-30, 2009

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Economic Roundtable, 17 April 2009

Military Operations Research Society (MORS) Workshop on Risk-Informed Decision Making, April 13-16, 2009

National Science Foundation (NSF) Workshop "Opportunities and Challenges in Uncertainty Quantification for Complex Interacting Systems." 13 April 2009

Workshop on Megacities, University of Southern California, 11 November 2008

Joint Bank of France / European Central Bank Conference on Liquidity in interdependent transfer systems, Paris, 9-10 June 2008

University of Southern California, Viterbi School of Engineering, invited seminar, 23 January 2008

Joint Bank of England & European Central Bank Conference on Payments and monetary and financial stability, November 2007

International Society of Dynamic Games Workshop, Rabat, Morocco September 2007

Bank of Finland 5th Payment and Settlement Simulation Seminar and Workshop. Helsinki, Finland, August 2007

Institute of Medicine of the National Academies: Modeling Community Containment, Washington DC, October 2006

Bank of Finland 4th Payment and Settlement Simulation Seminar and Workshop, Helsinki, Finland, August 2006

The National Academy of Sciences of the National Academies/ The Federal Reserve Bank of New York: New Directions for Understanding Systemic Risk, New York City, May 2006

Bank of Finland 3rd Payment and Settlement Simulation Seminar and Workshop, Helsinki, Finland, August 2005

Working Together: R&D Partnerships in Homeland Security Conference, May 2005

NISAC Demonstration of Capabilities, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington Appril-May 2003


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