A preliminary study on methods for risk analysis in system of system- A case study on the Västmanland 2014 forest fire


  • Marjorie Pettersson Mälardalens Universitet




Crisis management in the twenty-first century is facing new challenges, due to the increasing complexity of contemporary society. To mitigate a societal crisis, it is often necessary for a collection of independent systems, people, and organizations to cooperate. These collaborating entities constitute an interconnected socio-technical system of systems (SoS) based on information exchange. An important question is how a crisis management SoS should be constructed to accurately handle a crisis and to minimize the risk of failure. SoS pose new challenges regarding how risk during interactions is analysed, due to their complex nature as they are interconnections of independent systems. Additionally, SoS are dynamic and evolve as the crisis unfolds. Available traditional risk analysis methods focus on individual systems. We believe that this does not work well for the SoS specific characteristics. To test this, we applied one of those methods to an SoS case, to learn what specific improvements are needed. The objectives were to find characteristics that cause risk during interactions in a SoS and to evaluate the usefulness of an existing risk analysis method in the context of crisis management. Applying STAMP (System-Theoretic Accident Model and Processes), a widely used risk analysis method, we analysed the system of system put together to handle the 2014 Västmanland forest fire by systematically analysing many existing investigations on that event. We documented this as a preliminary approach to creating a risk management process.  Initial results show that in our study, STAMP was able to isolate characteristics that included inadequate preparedness, and insufficient capability, among others. However, the method was limited in identifying characteristics of risk related to dynamic SoS structure, and latent risks or existing characteristics only triggered as risk, during an operation. Thus, risks in SoS could arise from emergent behaviour and requires a different approach to risk analysis. 





Work in progress