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Evolution of Threats in the Global Risk Network

Xiang Niu, Alaa Moussawi, Gyorgy Korniss, Boleslaw K. Szymanski

posted on 28 September 2018

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With a steadily growing population and rapid advancements in technology, the global economy is increasing in size and complexity. This growth exacerbates global vulnerabilities and may lead to unforeseen consequences such as global pandemics fueled by air travel, cyberspace attacks, and cascading failures caused by the weakest link in a supply chain. Hence, a quantitative understanding of the mechanisms driving global network vulnerabilities is urgently needed. Developing methods for efficiently monitoring evolution of the global economy is essential to such understanding. Each year the World Economic Forum publishes an authoritative report on the state of the global economy and identifies risks that are likely to be active, impactful or contagious. Using a Cascading Alternating Renewal Process approach to model the dynamics of the global risk network, we are able to answer critical questions regarding the evolution of this network. To fully trace the evolution of the network we analyze the asymptotic state of risks (risk levels which would be reached in the long term if the risks were left unabated) given a snapshot in time, this elucidates the various challenges faced by the world community at each point in time. We also investigate the influence exerted by each risk on others. Results presented here are obtained through either quantitative analysis or computational simulations.