DVC Research/Strategic Research Excellence Initiative (SREI-2020)

Modelling social risks and extreme events: from Angkor's demise to Australia’s housing crisis

Contributors: Mikhail Prokopenko, Eduardo Altmann, Deborah Bunker, Roland Fletcher, Joseph Lizier, Ramil
, Kirsten McKenzie, Richard Miles, Daniel Penny, Somwrita Sarkar, Tony Sleigh

Australia faces diverse challenges including global economic volatility (e.g., the housing market), high rates of urbanisation (e.g. small number of cities housing most of the population), limited habitable land areas, continuing climate variability, dispersed and stressed infrastructure, and an ageing population. These interdependent pressures are intensified by complex social interactions, creating complex far-from-equilibrium processes with emergent properties and non-linear dynamics which can have lasting adverse effects on society. The research program will develop a novel cross-disciplinary framework for analysis, modelling and design of adaptive urban systems resilient to stresses, using advanced techniques from complex systems, network science, agent-based computational modelling, and dynamical systems.

To develop and evaluate this general framework, we selected two settlement areas with distinct features and different histories yet of similar physical size and urban landscape: Greater Sydney area in 20th-21st centuries and Greater Angkor area in the 13th-14th centuries. The specific outcomes will include precise and efficient methods for forecasting of critical dynamics during urban transformation, a computational model, including scaling of settlement sizes, calibrated to Australian datasets, and a software simulator of possible interventions.

CRISIS project collaborations:

- ARC Discovery Project (2016 - 2019): Large-scale Computational Modelling of Epidemics in Australia: Analysis, Predictions and Mitigation. (Mikhail Prokopenko, Pip Pattison, Manoj Gambhir, Joseph Lizier, Mahendra Piraveenan, Timothy Germann).

- ARC Discovery Project (2017 - 2020): Australian housing market risks: Simulation, Modelling and Analysis (Michael Harre, Mikhail Prokopenko, Doyne J. Farmer, Paul Ormerod, Markus Brede).

- ARC Discovery Project (2017 - 2020): The demise of Angkor and the post-Angkorian urban recovery (Roland Fletcher, Daniel Penny, et al.).

- ARC Discovery Early Career Researcher Award: Relating Function of Complex Networks to Structure Using Information Theory (Joseph Lizier).

Key research outputs:

Selected media coverage: