Document Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date


Publication Title

Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management PSAM 14



Conference Name

Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management PSAM 14, September 16-21, 2018, Los Angeles, California


A system pathology is a circumstance, condition, or pattern that acts to limit system performance, or lessen system viability, such that the likelihood of a system achieving performance expectation is reduced. The idea of pathology has been described in multiple fields, including computer science, organizational studies, policy analysis, system-of-systems engineering, and systems engineering. However, there is scarcity of literature describing relationship between system pathology and vulnerability assessment. The aim of this study lies at the intersection of system pathology and vulnerability assessment in engineered systems. First, authors provide the state of the art review of literature on system pathology. Second, authors suggest the utility of pathology-informed approach to vulnerability assessment. The aim is to fuse vulnerability assessment methods with pathology-informed concepts for a more robust approach to vulnerability assessment in complex systems. Any investigation into complex systems, with the goal of understanding and improving the system, begins with formulating the problem. This is also the case when one uses the proposed risk-pathology assessment method. The research leverages on recent developments in the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster to offer insights for assessment and design of critical facilities. Finally, the paper concludes with possible multiple research paths.


© 2018 International Association of Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management (IAPSAM)

Included with the kind written permission of the copyright holder.


0000-0002-2213-4929 (Katina), 0000-0003-2830-675X (Gheorghe), 0000-0001-9452-9105 (Keating)

Original Publication Citation

Katina, P. F., Gheorghe, A. V., & Keating, C. B. (2018). Pathology-informed approach in vulnerability assessment methods. Probabilistic Safety Assessment and Management PSAM 14, Los Angeles, California.