Note: This unit version has not been officially published yet and is subject to change!

CSYS5020: Interdependent Civil Systems (2019 - Semester 1)

Download UoS Outline

Unit: CSYS5020: Interdependent Civil Systems (6 CP)
Mode: Normal-Day
On Offer: Yes
Level: Postgraduate
Faculty/School: Faculty of Engineering
Unit Coordinator/s: Zachreson, Cameron
Session options: Semester 1
Versions for this Unit:
Campus: Camperdown/Darlington
Pre-Requisites: None.
Brief Handbook Description: Our modern day civil infrastructure includes transport networks, telecommunications, power systems, financial infrastructure and emergency services, all of which are growing more and more interconnected. Moreover, the behaviour of the modern infrastructure is not dependent only upon the behaviour of its parts: complex civil systems (such as modern power grids), communication and transport systems, megaprojects, social and eco-systems, generate rich interactions among the individual components with interdependencies across systems. This interdependent behaviour brings about significant new challenges associated with the design and management of complex systems. Cascading power failures, traffic disruptions, epidemic outbreaks, chronic diseases, financial market crashes, and ecosystem collapses are typical manifestations of these challenges, affecting the stability and sustainability of modern society and civil infrastructure. This unit will develop an understanding of how interdependent systems perform under stress, how to improve resilience and sustainability, and how best to mitigate the effects of various kinds of component failure or human error, by more accurate analysis of interdependent cascades of failures across system boundaries. The studied topics will include dynamical analysis of complex interdependent networks, local and global measures of network structure and evolution, cascading failures, as well as predictive measures of catastrophic failure in complex adaptive systems, and the tools that enable planning for resilient and sustainable infrastructure. This unit will equip students with the necessary skillset to design civil systems which are sustainable and resilient in the face of natural disasters, technical failures, environmental and socio-ecological fluctuations, and malicious attacks, using network theory. This unit will equip future professionals with sufficient expertise and technical know-how for the design of efficient prevention and intervention policies, and robust crisis forecasting and management.
Assumed Knowledge: None.
Lecturer/s: Dr Piraveenan, Mahendrarajah
Timetable: CSYS5020 Timetable
Time Commitment:
# Activity Name Hours per Week Sessions per Week Weeks per Semester
1 Lecture 2.00 1 13
2 Laboratory 1.00 1 13
3 Independent Study 7.00 1 13
T&L Activities: This unit of study comprises of regular lectures, as well as laboratory / tutorial sessions. These sessions will take place in a lab with access to relevant computer facilities. Depending on the syllabus, some weeks will comprise tutorials where students will solve problems with the help of tutors, and other weeks will comprise programming or software based laboratory experiments.

During lab sessions with a programming/software component, tutors will be present to assist students develop relevant programming or other computing skills.

Students will use independent study time to further develop their computing skills and to practise solving analytical problems.

Learning outcomes are the key abilities and knowledge that will be assessed in this unit. They are listed according to the course goal supported by each. See Assessment Tab for details how each outcome is assessed.

Unassigned Outcomes
1. Use elementary and intermediate programming skills to analyse, understand and simulate the dynamics of complex systems
2. Be able to apply topological analysis to a particular complex system to critically understand its structure
3. Be able to efficiently use existing software tools (e.g., Cityscape, Pajek ) in complex network analysis
4. Develop scientific programming skills which can be applied in network analysis
5. Develop understanding of the nature and dynamics of interdependent civil systems
6. Understand and apply elementary game theory in networked civil systems to simulate their dynamics and cognitive decision making of the participating entities
7. Understand, and successfully use in analysis, the concepts of percolation, cascading failures, robustness and related concepts within the context of interdependent systems
8. Be able to design basic network structures that satisfy structural and functional criteria within given domains and contexts
Assessment Methods:
# Name Group Weight Due Week Outcomes
1 Assignment 1 No 30.00 Week 5 1, 2, 3, 4,
2 Assignment 2 Yes 40.00 Week 9 1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7,
3 Assignment 3 No 30.00 Week 13 2, 5, 6, 7, 8,
Assessment Description: The assessment will consist of three assignments (30%, 40%, and 30% each). The second of the assignments shall be attempted by groups of three, or as determined by lecturer, depending on student numbers. First two assignments will constitute computing / programming content. The third assignment shall be calculation based and akin to an exam, to be attempted individually but completed before a deadline at the students` own time.

* means this assessment must be repeated or will be replaced with a different assessment if missed due to special consideration

IMPORTANT: There may be statistically defensible moderation when combining the marks from each component to ensure consistency of marking between markers, and alignment of final grades with unit outcomes.
Assessment Feedback: Feedback for assignments will be through Blackboard e-learning portal, though which these assignments will be submitted.
Grade Type Description
Standards Based Assessment Final grades in this unit are awarded at levels of HD for High Distinction, DI (previously D) for Distinction, CR for Credit, PS (previously P) for Pass and FA (previously F) for Fail as defined by University of Sydney Assessment Policy. Details of the Assessment Policy are available on the Policies website at . Standards for grades in individual assessment tasks and the summative method for obtaining a final mark in the unit will be set out in a marking guide supplied by the unit coordinator.
Policies & Procedures: See the policies page of the faculty website at for information regarding university policies and local provisions and procedures within the Faculty of Engineering and Information Technologies.
Prescribed Text/s: Note: Students are expected to have a personal copy of all books listed.
Recommended Reference/s: Note: References are provided for guidance purposes only. Students are advised to consult these books in the university library. Purchase is not required.

Note that the "Weeks" referred to in this Schedule are those of the official university semester calendar

Week Description
Week 1 Lecture: Introduction to interdependent civil systems
Week 2 Lecture/Tutorial: The world of networks
Week 3 Lecture: Topological analysis of complex networks: part I
Week 4 Lecture/Tutorial: Topological analysis of complex networks: part II
Week 5 Lecture/Tutorial: Cascading failures
Assessment Due: Assignment 1
Week 6 Lecture/Tutorial: Measuring network robustness and resilience
Week 7 Lecture/Tutorial: Spectral methods
Week 8 Lecture/Tutorial: Percolation in networks
Week 9 Lecture/Tutorial: Game theory in networked systems
Assessment Due: Assignment 2
Week 10 Lecture/Tutorial: Modelling epidemic spread in communities
Week 11 Lecture/Tutorial: Modelling networked financial systems
Week 12 Lecture/Tutorial: Modelling socio - ecological systems
Week 13 Lecture/Tutorial: Modelling power and transport systems
Assessment Due: Assignment 3

Course Relations

The following is a list of courses which have added this Unit to their structure.

Course Year(s) Offered
Master of Complex Systems 2020, 2017, 2018, 2019
Graduate Diploma in Complex Systems 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Engineering 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Civil) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Fluids) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Geomechanical) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Accelerated) (Structural) 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Civil) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Fluids) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Geomechanical) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020
Master of Professional Engineering (Structural) 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020

Course Goals

This unit contributes to the achievement of the following course goals:

Attribute Practiced Assessed
(5) Interdisciplinary, Inclusiveness, Influence (Level 4) No 0%
(6) Communication and Inquiry/ Research (Level 3) No 0%
(4) Design (Level 4) No 0%
(3) Problem Solving and Inventiveness (Level 4) No 0%
(2) Engineering/ IT Specialisation (Level 5) No 0%
(1) Maths/ Science Methods and Tools (Level 5) No 0%

These goals are selected from Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 which defines overall goals for courses where this unit is primarily offered. See Engineering & IT Graduate Outcomes Table 2018 for details of the attributes and levels to be developed in the course as a whole. Percentage figures alongside each course goal provide a rough indication of their relative weighting in assessment for this unit. Note that not all goals are necessarily part of assessment. Some may be more about practice activity. See Learning outcomes for details of what is assessed in relation to each goal and Assessment for details of how the outcome is assessed. See Attributes for details of practice provided for each goal.