ETH48 Workshop on Cascade Processes

Main content

19 and 20 January 2017
Workshop on Cascade Processes: Mathematical Modeling and Applications

As part of the ETH48 Research Project, the ETH Risk Center organizes a workshop that brings together experts on cascade phenomena from various disciplines. We identify commonalities and differences between methodological approaches and discuss possible interpretations in different contexts. In particular, we study economic and financial systems, shed light on epidemic spreading, and look at similarities with information cascade in social online media.

Thursday, 19.1.2017 - 13:00 to 18:45 hrs.
Friday, 20.1.2017 - 8:30 to 12:00 hrs.

Organizing Lead:
Dr. Rebekka Burkholz, Chair of Systems Design and Risk Center, ETH Zurich

Please find more details here. (PDF, 144 KB)

Please register via e-mail to Rebekka Burkholz ( until 16 January 2017. This event is free of charge.

Confirmed Speakers:
- Stefano Battiston, Institute for Banking and Finance, University of Zurich
- Rebekka Burkholz, Chair of Systems Design and Risk Center, ETH Zurich
- Fabio Caccioli, Department of Computer Science, University College London
- Dionysios Georgiadis, ETH Singapore Center, Future Resilient Systems Programme, Singapore
- James P. Gleeson, MACSI, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Limerick, Ireland
- Sergio Gomez, Departamento Enginyeria Informàtica i Matemàtiques, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain
- Manuel Gomez Rodriguez, MPI-SWS, Kaiserslautern, Germany
- Jan Nagler, Computational & Theoretical Physics @ IfB & Risk Center, ETH Zurich
- Raúl Toral, Departamento de Física & Instituto de Física Interdisciplinar y Sistemas Complejos (IFISC, UIB-CSIC), Spain
- Olivia Woolley Meza, Chair of Computational Social Science, ETH Zurich

Cascade processes are a widely observed phenomenon. In the course of globalization and technological advancement, systems become more interconnected and system components more dependent on the functioning of others. In particular, for socio-economic networks and financial networks, we observe an increase in coupling strength and complexity at the same time. Examples are global supply chains, but also technical systems, like power grids or the internet of things. The increasing connectivity in such systems has usually many advantages. For instance, resources can be allocated where they are needed and can thus be used more efficiently. In addition, connectivity can provide redundancy and absorb local shocks. Very often, higher connectivity is crucial for the functionality of a system. For instance, it can be necessary to cope with increased requirements in system’s performance. Power grids might need to serve an increased electricity demand and thus have to be expanded. More food for an increasing world population needs to be provided and thus transported to its destination. However, at the same time, highly connected systems are prone to cascading phenomena and can thus carry an eventually high amount of systemic risk. Incidents like the US Northeast power grid blackout of 2003 or the financial crisis in 2007/2008 have raised awareness for the downsides of increasing interdependency and complexity. Insights into such cascade phenomena support the improvement of many systems' resilience.

Page URL:
Fri Jun 23 07:54:34 CEST 2017
© 2017 Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich