This paper proposes and tests a multilayer framework for simulating the network dynamics of inter-organizational coordination among interdependent infrastructure systems (IISs) in resilience planning. Inter-organizational coordination among IISs (such as transportation, flood control, and emergency management) would greatly affect the effectiveness of resilience planning. Hence, it is important to examine and understand the dynamics of coordination in networks of organizations within and across various systems in resilience planning.
To capture the dynamic nature of coordination frequency and the heterogeneity of organizations, this paper proposes a multilayer network simulation framework enabling the characterization of inter-organizational coordination dynamics within and across IISs. In the proposed framework, coordination probabilities are utilized to approximate the varying levels of collaboration among organizations. Based on these derived collaborations, the simulation process perturbs intra-layer or inter-layer links and unveils the level of inter-organizational coordination within and across IISs.
To test the proposed framework, the study examined a multilayer collaboration network of 35 organizations from five infrastructure systems within Harris County, Texas, based on the data gathered from a survey in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey.
The results indicate that prior to Hurricane Harvey:
coordination among organizations across different infrastructure systems is less than the coordination within the individual systems;
organizations from the community development system had a low level of coordination for hazard mitigation with organizations in flood control and transportation systems;
achieving a greater level of coordination among organizations across infrastructure systems is more difficult and would require a greater frequency of interaction (compared to within-system coordination).
The results show the capability of the proposed multilayer network simulation framework to examine inter-organizational coordination dynamics at the system level (e.g., within and across IISs). The assessment of inter-organizational coordination within and across IISs sheds light on important organizational interdependencies in IISs and leads to recommendations for improving the resilience planning process.