Document Type

Open Access Thesis

Embargo Period


Degree Program

Civil Engineering

Degree Type

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (M.S.C.E.)

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded



A topology-based approach has been used to measure the resilience of a highway network to climatic events. Civil infrastructure systems are inarguably critical to the everyday functions of society. Because such systems are regionally distributed, their components undergo a wide range of hazard intensities, often dependent on their relative locations. The ability of an infrastructure system to withstand, adapt to, and rapidly recover from extreme events is paramount to its ability to continuously serve users. The topological properties of a network can provide a good means to assess the resilience of the system which is adequate to comprehend the preparedness and functionality of an infrastructure system in the face of various hazards. Hurricanes and storm surges are especially relevant on the eastern coast of the US, where they can cause widespread damage and destruction. Furthermore, the effects of climate change are proven to increase the intensity of climatic events, worsening the consequences to infrastructure networks. The vulnerability of the transportation network of New York City, the most populous urban area in the U.S., was underlined in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and for this purpose has been chosen as the test bed for this study. Reducing the highway system to a combination of nodes and links, the principles of graph theory are applied to quantify defining network properties. More specifically, by assessing and measuring the change in topological properties during extreme climatic events, the resilience of a transportation network can be succinctly evaluated.

First Advisor

Alice Alipour

Second Advisor

Behrouz Shafei