IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019 - 15

a sophisticated new model integration package, which
manages the time-step integration of the coupled simulation models and interfaces with different approaches to
developing infrastructure strategies of increasing complexity, from the simplest prespecified investment
strategies that answer what-if questions through to multiobjective optimization routines that can be used to
explore tradeoffs between different infrastructure performance targets.
There are many goals for infrastructure systems. One
organizing principle is based on the trilemma, which is a
well-known framing in the energy sector. The trilemma

concept articulates how decisions regarding energy systems
involve trading off between 1) security of supply, 2) affordability, and 3) carbon emissions. The trilemma can, I
believe, be generalized to all infrastructure, where decision
making involves navigating three categories of objectives:
1) Accessibility and quality: These relate to the quality of
the services for infrastructure users. In places where
access is not universal (e.g., in many parts of the developing world), access is a first-order metric for infrastructure, but reliability (i.e., the proportion of time
during which the infrastructure actually works) can be
equally important. There are other availability-related

Table 1. A summary of the main NISMOD modules.
Module

Brief Description

Interdependence Represented

Population projections

ONS population projections extended to Local Authority District scale

Economic projections

Cambridge Econometrics multisectoral model of the U.K. economy

Consistent scenarios are used
for all infrastructure sectors

Climate projections

UKCP09 climate projections and Future Flows projections of U.K. river flows

Technological
projections

Factors for calculating infrastructure demand in each sector include the
effects of technological and behavioral change

Strategies for
infrastructure provision

Strategies can be programmed as 1) a predetermined list of infrastructure investments and/or policy interventions, 2) a set of rules that
implement investments/interventions, subject to given criteria, or 3) an
optimization problem that maximizes/minimizes an objective function
subject to constraints

Coherent strategies are
developed across infrastructure
sectors

Energy systems

Model U.K. electricity supply and transmission, coupled with a model of
gas storage and transmission

Electricity demand from electric
vehicles, rail electrification, and
information/communications
technologies

Transport systems

Road and rail passenger demand estimated at Local Authority District
scale; congestion estimated at inter- and intrazone scale; passenger
and freight projections for ports and airports

Digital communications

Fixed and mobile connectivity analyzed for Local Authority Districts,
based on population density, socioeconomic status, and topography
(for mobile)

Water supply

Demand for public and industrial water supply estimated for Water
Resource Zones; surface water availability from Future Flows; groundwater based on existing supplies; simulation of storage, transfers, and other
sources (e.g., desalination)

Wastewater

Projection of domestic sewage based on population projections; analysis of wastewater treatment plant capacity

Flood protection

National analysis of risk from river and coastal flooding; flood defense
investments to reduce flood risk

Flood risks to infrastructure

Solid waste

Projections of rising municipal solid waste calculated at the Local
Authority District scale and allocated to collection services and
treatment, recycling, and/or disposal infrastructure

Energy from waste (incineration
and biogas)

Metrics of infrastructure
performance

Capacity margin (infrastructure use/available capacity, averaged
spatially), total service delivery, cost (capital operation), and
greenhouse gas emissions calculated for each infrastructure sector,
plus other sector-specific metrics

Consistent metrics used across
infrastructure sectors

Demand for cooling water
from thermoelectric power
generation

Database

National infrastructure database containing all infrastructure asset data and simulation
model inputs and outputs

Visualization

Maps, graphs, and other statistical tools coupled with the database

See Figure 1 for color coding.
For further information, see [21].

Ju ly 2019

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE

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IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019

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