Optimal behavior of systems

The Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program develops models that explain the behavior of particular human-Earth systems; it also advances methods of optimization theory, control theory, theory of dynamic systems, game theory, and other related fields that are used to analyze those models.

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Traditionally, decision support tools for complex human-Earth systems are based on the optimization of a utility, cost, or other objective function in a stylized modeling framework.

In 2014 ASA studied models of optimal control of heterogeneous resources as an important tool in advising policymakers on the exploitation of biological resources; considered the increasing importance of environmental feedback as an input to research on long-term economic growth; assessed how to optimally spread risk, including the role of insurance; constructed and analyzed suboptimal solutions in economy-climate models; and explored robust solutions at the food-energy-water nexus.

Optimal management of heterogeneous resources

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers develop and study stylized models of management of heterogeneous resources to allow them to analyze size-structured populations, such as fish and forests; the aim is to understand the consequences of various management strategies and also to reveal which management principles can optimize certain economic and environmental objectives. More

Endogenous economic growth: Drivers and impacts

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers develop and study stylized models of endogenous economic growth in which long-term economic growth is generated by such factors as physical and human capital. An extended form of these models also includes feedback with the environment. More

Optimal spreading of risks

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers have developed a framework to produce policy instruments that are robust with respect to potential uncertainties to combat growing risks from natural hazards. More

Attainable solutions and model sensitivity

Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers advance methods of control theory that allow models of complex human-Earth interactions to be studied under incomplete information and uncertainty. More

Food-energy-water nexus: Robust solutions

Through case studies, Advanced Systems Analysis (ASA) Program researchers model interconnected food, water, and energy systems at the local and global levels with the aim of suggesting robust management strategies with respect to uncertainties and risks. More

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Last edited: 17 March 2015


Elena Rovenskaya

Program Director and Principal Research Scholar Advancing Systems Analysis Program

Further information



International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
Schlossplatz 1, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria
Phone: (+43 2236) 807 0 Fax:(+43 2236) 71 313