System transitions and resilience of systems

Humanity relies on a huge array of systems, from local ecosystems to global economy. The resilience of these systems to shocks, and whether they undergo critical transitions if pushed past a tipping point, is an important part of the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program’s research.

© Witold Krasowski | Dreamstime

© Witold Krasowski | Dreamstime

System resilience has many dimensions and therefore is difficult to quantify. ASA research has identified some measures that could be used, such as the system efficiency-redundancy balance. This can be applied to a range of ecological and human-made systems and hence inform actual governance and public policy for sustainable development of coupled natural-social systems.

Resilience goes hand in hand with sustainability; however, this field is fraught with uncertainties. ASA researchers have been working to represent and analyze uncertainties as comprehensively as possible, and to develop methods that can lead to improved decision-making under uncertainty. Notably, this work extends to increasing our understanding of the uncertainty in estimating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, helping to pave the way towards their efficient mitigation.

Conceptualizing and quantifying resilience and sustainability

Researchers in the Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program contribute to the understanding of sustainability by applying the experiences of their particular studies, each of which deals with the concept in its own way. This allows for development of diverse, system-analytic approaches to quantifying sustainability. More

Managing uncertainty in climate science and meeting sustainability constraints

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are a particular challenge for sustainability. Decisions need to be made now to avoid unsustainable futures, but the basis for these decisions, in terms of both data and models, encompasses vast inherent uncertainties. Proper accounting of uncertainties when verifying mitigation efforts and analyzing scenarios of future emissions is the focus of several Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program studies. More

Data analysis revealing behavior patterns

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers apply contemporary approaches to analyze newly available “big data” from social media datasets to find new insights. More

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Last edited: 15 March 2016


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director:Acting Program Director

Advanced Systems Analysis

Evolution and Ecology

T +43(0) 2236 807 608

Further information



International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313