Vulnerability assessment of chemical facilities to intentional attacks based on Bayesian Network

Francesca Argenti, Gabriele Landucci, Genserik Reniers, Valerio Cozzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

33 Citations (Scopus)


Chemical facilities may be targets of deliberate acts of interference triggering major accidents (fires, explosion, toxic dispersions) in process and storage units. Standard methodologies for vulnerability assessment are based on qualitative or semi-quantitative tools, currently not tailored for this type of facilities and not accounting for the role of physical protection systems. In the present study, a quantitative approach to the probabilistic assessment of vulnerability to external attacks is presented, based on the application of a dedicated Bayesian Network (BN). BN allowed the representation of interactions among attack impact vectors and resistance of process units, which determine the final outcomes of an attack. A specific assessment of protection systems, based on experts’ elicitation of performance data, allowed providing a knowledge support to the evaluation of probabilities. The application to an industrial case study allowed the assessment of the potentialities of the approach, which may support both the evaluation of the vulnerability of a given facility, and the performance assessment of the security physical protection system in place.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)515-530
Number of pages16
JournalReliability Engineering and System Safety
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • Bayesian Networks
  • Physical protection systems
  • Probabilistic assessment
  • Security risk
  • Vulnerability


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