The University of British Columbia

The University of British Columbia


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  4. IFI Research Approach
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Roadway (Vancouver, BC)

IFI Research Approach

Our approach to the study of infrastructure failure interdependencies (IFIs) was developed as part of our previous research under a U.S. National Science Foundation grant. This approach enables us to systematically study IFIs and will continue to be integral to our work in Analyzing Infrastructures for Disaster-Resilient Communities. 

Our approach is founded on a conceptual framework that we developed to characterize IFIs and their impacts. From this framework, we constructed a database that allows our research team to organize data on IFIs associated with particular disasters. After data is collected, we synthesize the information in figures that illustrate the magnitude, patterns and pathways of the societal impacts of IFIs in a particular disaster. In order to foster disaster-resilient communities, we then use this information to anticipate and prioritize IFIs according to their need for mitigation.

This portion of the website provides additional information on aspects of our IFI research approach. This information is presented in four main parts. 

  1. Part 1 situates our approach in the larger research context. It briefly describes the evolution of the study of critical infrastructure and highlights the distinctiveness of our approach.
  2. Part 2 describes the objectives of our approach. It identifies our reasons for studying IFIs as well as our key research questions.
  3. Part 3 explains the data on IFI characteristics that is captured by our conceptual framework.
  4. Part 4 identifies our data collection methods. It includes a discussion on the strengths and limitations of our methods.

For examples of the application and output of our research approach, please visit recent research