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Cascading Failure vs Resilience

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A cascading failure is a failure that starts small but becomes large as it spreads across a system as a chain reaction of interconnected parts. They occur in complex systems such as economies, markets, technologies, infrastructure and ecosystems. Cascading failures are considered a particularly difficult to predict and damaging class of risk. In theory, the failure of a single company can bring down the entire global economy or loss of a single species can cause an ecosystem to collapse.
Resilience is a common term for strategies that seek to prevent cascading failures. The following are a few examples of resilience:
Avoidance of monopolies and single points of failure in markets such as large banks that are "too big to fail."
Cities that are resource efficient that produce some of their own food and energy may be more resilient to global supply chain shocks.
Infrastructure with backups and failovers designed to prevent single points of failure.
A healthy environment may withstand an unexpected environmental disaster whereas an environment already on the brink may not.
Designs such as amphibious houses that float off of their foundations like a boat in the event of a flood. Typically for houses located near the floodplain of flood-prone rivers.
A house that produces most of its own energy is generally more resilient to power outages.
Cascading Failure vs Resilience
Cascading Failure
A small failure that becomes a large failure as it spreads across a system of interconnected parts.
A class of strategies that reduce the probability or impact of cascading failures.


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