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Networks of Networks: The Last Frontier of Complexity


Author: Gregorio D'Agostino

Publisher: Springer


Publish Date: January 11, 2014

ISBN-10: 3319035177

Pages: 340

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Modern life in fully developed countries relies on the coordinated functioning of several infrastructures such as Electric System, Aqueducts, Communication Assets, Fresh food distribution chains, Gas-ducts, Oil Pipelines, Transports, Financial networks, etc. Several of such infrastructures have been regarded as critical since they provide vital services to sustain the modern technological society and its development.

During the last decades, the level of awareness about the importance of protecting our Critical Infrastructures (CIs) has been steadily growing. In this respect, US has been the first country to take an official financial commitment by means of the celebrated American Presidential Directive PDD-63 of May 1998 under the Clinton administration. After ten years also the European Community made a similar commitment through the EUDIR Council Directive 2008/114/EC (dated December the 8-th, 2008), that has been afterwards implemented by the EU member states. It has to be noticed that, while the US directive is very broad in its scope, the EU directive is presently limited to the energetic, transport and financial sectors.

The functioning of Critical Infrastructures requires both physical components and human actors. It is therefore important not only to employ reliable components, but also to understand human behaviour at both individual and collective levels. Moreover, each infrastructure resorts to other CIs (typically, but not limited to, energy and ICT) to accomplish its goals: in other words, CIs are inter-dependent. Identifying, understanding and analysing critical infrastructure interdependencies is therefore a crucial task to be pursued by the scientific community at both the academic and applied levels [1].

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