Skip to main content
The impact of risk-averse operation on the likelihood of extreme events in a simple model of infrastructure
Chaos (2009)
  • B. A. Carreras, BACV Solutions Inc.
  • D. E, Newman, University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • Ian Dobson, University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Matthew Zeidenberg, Columbia University
A simple dynamic model of agent operation of an infrastructure system is presented. This system evolves over a long time scale by a daily increase in consumer demand that raises the overall load on the system and an engineering response to failures that involves upgrading of the components. The system is controlled by adjusting the upgrading rate of the components and the replacement time of the components. Two agents operate the system. Their behavior is characterized by their risk-averse and risk-taking attitudes while operating the system, their response to large events, and the effect of learning time on adapting to new conditions. A risk-averse operation causes a reduction in the frequency of failures and in the number of failures per unit time. However, risk aversion brings an increase in the probability of extreme events. 
  • algorithm,
  • computer simulation,
  • decision making,
  • high risk behavior
Publication Date
October, 2009
Publisher Statement
Copyright 2009 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.
Citation Information
B. A. Carreras, D. E, Newman, Ian Dobson and Matthew Zeidenberg. "The impact of risk-averse operation on the likelihood of extreme events in a simple model of infrastructure" Chaos Vol. 19 Iss. 4 (2009) p. 043107-1 - 043107-8
Available at: