© 2011

Viability and Resilience of Complex Systems

Concepts, Methods and Case Studies from Ecology and Society

  • Guillaume Deffuant
  • Nigel Gilbert


  • Authored and edited by leading researchers in the field

  • Suitable as self-study guide at graduate level

  • Provides both theory and many concrete applications


Part of the Understanding Complex Systems book series (UCS)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xii
  2. Concepts

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Volker Grimm, Justin M. Calabrese
      Pages 3-13
    3. Sophie Martin, Guillaume Deffuant, Justin M. Calabrese
      Pages 15-36
  3. Case Studies

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 37-37
    2. Xavier Castelló, Federico Vazquez, Víctor M. Eguíluz, Lucía Loureiro-Porto, Maxi San Miguel, Laetitia Chapel et al.
      Pages 39-73
    3. Dario Taraborelli, Camille Roth
      Pages 75-105
    4. Justin M. Calabrese, Guillaume Deffuant, Volker Grimm
      Pages 107-130
    5. Nabil Mabrouk, Jean-Denis Mathias, Guillaume Deffuant
      Pages 131-157
  4. Tools and Techniques

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 159-159
    2. Isabelle Alvarez, Sophie Martin
      Pages 193-218
  5. Back Matter
    Pages 219-221

About this book


One common characteristic of a complex system is its ability to withstand major disturbances and the capacity to rebuild itself. Understanding how such systems demonstrate resilience by absorbing or recovering from major external perturbations requires both quantitative foundations and a multidisciplinary view of the topic.

This book demonstrates how new methods can be used to identify the actions favouring the recovery from perturbations on a variety of examples including the dynamics of bacterial biofilms, grassland savannahs, language competition and Internet social networking sites.

The reader is taken through an introduction to the idea of resilience and viability and shown the mathematical basis of the techniques used to analyse systems. The idea of individual or agent-based modelling of complex systems is introduced and related to analytically tractable approximations of such models. A set of case studies illustrates the use of the techniques in real applications, and the final section describes how one can use new software tools for carrying out the necessary calculations.

The book is intended for a general scientific audience of readers from the natural and social sciences, although it requires some mathematics to gain a full understanding of the more theoretical chapters.

It is an essential point of reference for those interested in the practical application of the concepts of resilience and viability


Viability kernels and resilience basins multi-agent based modelling pattern formation and resilience recovery from catastrophes social-ecological systems viability theory

Editors and affiliations

  • Guillaume Deffuant
    • 1
  • Nigel Gilbert
    • 2
  1. 1.CemagrefAubière CX 1France
  2. 2.Social and Computer Sciences, Research GroupUniversity SurreyGuildford, SurreyUnited Kingdom

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors
Finance, Business & Banking


From the reviews:

“In this book, a consortium of researchers … suggested measures to formalize the concept of resilience by following viability theory, which can also be extremely useful to design management policies in different environments. … To sum up, this book is highly recommended to scientists from a wide range of disciplines dealing with complex agent-based systems, where some of the main issues are the calculation of stability of the non-equilibrium states and the robustness under some disturbances.” (Albert Diaz-Guilera, Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation, April, 2012)