Multi-level resilience: reconciling robustness, recovery and adaptability from a network science perspective

Mehdi Khoury, Seth Bullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review


From a multi-disciplinary point of view, research on resilience focuses on robustness, recovery, and adaptive capacity. Robustness quantifies how much damage a system can take before it breaks, whereas recovery refers to the ability of a system to recuperate within limits of time and resources, and adaptability requires a system to be able to structurally reorganize throughout time so as to improve its chances of survival when facing disturbances. In this paper, after discussing examples of models of robustness, recovery and adaptability from different scientific disciplines, is a discussion on the relationship between these three aspects of resilience, introducing a multi-level resilience hierarchy with which to relate them to each other which is termed the resilience pyramid. This paper then exemplifies this multi-level view of resilience through discussing the resilience of symbiotic networks to cascading failure in the context of modern infrastructures, and considers the introduction of infrastructure nodes with permutable roles as a possible solution.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)34-45
Number of pages12
JournalInternational Journal of Adaptive, Resilient and Autonomic Systems
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • adaptability, recovery, resilience, robustness, symbiotic interdependcy

Cite this