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European Commission >JRC >IPSC >ELSA


Diagnosing vulnerability, emergent phenomena, and Volatility in Manmade Networks

Project Description

Man-made interdependent infrastructures are strategic assets and commodities, whose secure, reliable and affordable supply are essential to Europe's socio- economic development and stability. The scope of the project covers the mathematical methods required to understand the dynamics of the network of networks that comprise Europe's critical infrastructure; concentrating primarily on energy supply, emergency response systems and subsidiary key infrastructures (such as transport) that are either directly dependent on them, or are critically relied on in times of crisis.

The aim of this project is to analyse real-world infrastructure systems with a view to aiding day-to-day and emergency planning of critical –primarily energy– European infrastructures. Our strategy is to apply the mathematical findings that constitute the body of, so-called, complexity theory to real-world networks. In order to do so we map specific networks (both physical and service) that make up the main elements of functional interconnected networks. The project partners will engage directly with infrastructure owners and governmental decision making bodies; thus enabling access to knowledge sets that will form the basis of the project case studies.

In view of these goals, the project will assemble, develop and apply complementary mathematical methods to analyse large, man-made multi-element infrastructure systems that exhibit, so-called, complex behaviour.

Available Datasets

The ELSA team is directly involved in the vulnerability analysis of urban road networks. For the analyses, the Pajek network analysis program was extensively used and the Pajek project format was adopted as the ManMade project's common format for networks files data compilation.

One of the analyses is performed on the US Forsyth Co., compiling and processing the GIS traffic data and road datasets freely available on the web as ESRI's shapefiles.

The network was compiled processing the original road GIS dataset of the City of Winston-Salem's (here ) and the North Carolina Department for Transportation's traffic counts for the year 2007 (here).

The compiled Pajek project file (.paj) dataset is here available for downloading in a compressed zip archive; if you want to use the dataset for publication, please cite the following reference:
E.Gutierrez, F.Bono, K.Poljansek, ManMade Project - Forsyth Co. traffic road network dataset, July 2009

 DOWNLOAD: ManMade Project - Forsyth Co. traffic road network dataset (size 363 Kb).








The Project is part of the FP6 framework programme and is an activity under the action Physical Vulnerability Assessment of Critical Structure (PVACS).


The MANMADE Consortium is a compact group of four university centres, one in each of Hungary, Italy, Macedonia and the United Kingdom and the EU Joint Research Centre at Ispra, Italy. It also has two commercial partners based in Finland.

QMUL - (coordinator) School of Mathematical Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London.
JRC-IPSC Joint Research Centre in Ispra, Italy.
Collegium Budapest - Institute for Advanced Study
The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts
LIUC Università Carlo Cattaneo


National Emergency Supply Agency (NESA, Finland)

Project Web Site external link )


With a distributed team across diverse institutions and countries, project management is a priority. To this end, the MANMADE project includes a "management network" which ties together project members, advisory groups, and the project management committee.

Role of the JRC

The JRC activities concern the data collation and processing of the infrastructures networks. A Geographical Information system coupled with databases and mathematical processing tools are used to manage and analyse the huge amount of information requested by the project.
The JRC is also specifically involved in the mathematical analyses of the European energy and urban networks.

Recent Publications

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