Advanced simulation for analysis of critical infrastructure : abstract cascades, the electric power grid, and Fedwire.

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Critical Infrastructures are formed by a large number of components that interact within complex networks. As a rule, infrastructures contain strong feedbacks either explicitly through the action of hardware/software control, or implicitly through the action/reaction of people. Individual infrastructures influence others and grow, adapt, and thus evolve in response to their multifaceted physical, economic, cultural, and political environments. Simply put, critical infrastructures are complex adaptive systems. In the Advanced Modeling and Techniques Investigations (AMTI) subgroup of the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC), we are studying infrastructures as complex adaptive systems. In one of AMTI's efforts, we are focusing ... continued below

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18 p.

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Glass, Robert John, Jr.; Stamber, Kevin Louis & Beyeler, Walter Eugene August 1, 2004.

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Description

Critical Infrastructures are formed by a large number of components that interact within complex networks. As a rule, infrastructures contain strong feedbacks either explicitly through the action of hardware/software control, or implicitly through the action/reaction of people. Individual infrastructures influence others and grow, adapt, and thus evolve in response to their multifaceted physical, economic, cultural, and political environments. Simply put, critical infrastructures are complex adaptive systems. In the Advanced Modeling and Techniques Investigations (AMTI) subgroup of the National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center (NISAC), we are studying infrastructures as complex adaptive systems. In one of AMTI's efforts, we are focusing on cascading failure as can occur with devastating results within and between infrastructures. Over the past year we have synthesized and extended the large variety of abstract cascade models developed in the field of complexity science and have started to apply them to specific infrastructures that might experience cascading failure. In this report we introduce our comprehensive model, Polynet, which simulates cascading failure over a wide range of network topologies, interaction rules, and adaptive responses as well as multiple interacting and growing networks. We first demonstrate Polynet for the classical Bac, Tang, and Wiesenfeld or BTW sand-pile in several network topologies. We then apply Polynet to two very different critical infrastructures: the high voltage electric power transmission system which relays electricity from generators to groups of distribution-level consumers, and Fedwire which is a Federal Reserve service for sending large-value payments between banks and other large financial institutions. For these two applications, we tailor interaction rules to represent appropriate unit behavior and consider the influence of random transactions within two stylized networks: a regular homogeneous array and a heterogeneous scale-free (fractal) network. For the stylized electric power grid, our initial simulations demonstrate that the addition of geographically unrestricted random transactions can eventually push a grid to cascading failure, thus supporting the hypothesis that actions of unrestrained power markets (without proper security coordination on market actions) can undermine large scale system stability. We also find that network topology greatly influences system robustness. Homogeneous networks that are 'fish-net' like can withstand many more transaction perturbations before cascading than can scale-free networks. Interestingly, when the homogeneous network finally cascades, it tends to fail in its entirety, while the scale-free tends to compartmentalize failure and thus leads to smaller, more restricted outages. In the case of stylized Fedwire, initial simulations show that as banks adaptively set their individual reserves in response to random transactions, the ratio of the total volume of transactions to individual reserves, or 'turnover ratio', increases with increasing volume. The removal of a bank from interaction within the network then creates a cascade, its speed of propagation increasing as the turnover ratio increases. We also find that propagation is accelerated by patterned transactions (as expected to occur within real markets) and in scale-free networks, by the 'attack' of the most highly connected bank. These results suggest that the time scale for intervention by the Federal Reserve to divert a cascade in Fedwire may be quite short. Ongoing work in our cascade analysis effort is building on both these specific stylized applications to enhance their fidelity as well as embracing new applications. We are implementing markets and additional network interactions (e.g., social, telecommunication, information gathering, and control) that can impose structured drives (perturbations) comparable to those seen in real systems. Understanding the interaction of multiple networks, their interdependencies, and in particular, the underlying mechanisms for their growth/evolution is paramount. With this understanding, appropriate public policy can be identified to guide the evolution of present infrastructures to withstand the demands and threats of the future.

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18 p.

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  • Report No.: SAND2004-4239
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • DOI: 10.2172/919156 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 919156
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc877569

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  • August 1, 2004

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Dec. 2, 2016, 7:12 p.m.

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Glass, Robert John, Jr.; Stamber, Kevin Louis & Beyeler, Walter Eugene. Advanced simulation for analysis of critical infrastructure : abstract cascades, the electric power grid, and Fedwire., report, August 1, 2004; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc877569/: accessed December 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.