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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Modelling and simulation of interdependencies between the communication and information technology infrastructure and other critical infrastructures Abdur Rahman, Hafiz Md.


Critical infrastructures are the lifelines of modern societies. The Communication and Information Technology Infrastructure (CITI) provides the basic mechanisms for sharing control and decision-making information among different critical infrastructures. Failures in CITI, either due to an accident or malicious action can propagate to other infrastructures and degrade or disrupt their functionality. Conversely, failures in other infrastructures can also propagate to CITI and hence disrupt the operation of many of the interconnected systems. For reliable and consistent operation of critical infrastructure networks, it is important to have tools and techniques to model and simulate CITI related interdependencies. This research is focusing on developing such methods and tools for CITI interdependency modelling and simulation. Our approach is based on system engineering techniques, where critical infrastructures are viewed as a system of systems. Interdependencies between different system components are captured using precise mathematical functions. As such, our approach goes beyond the limitations of agent-based modelling and simulation paradigms, where interdependencies are considered an emergent behavior. In this research, we have used predictive modelling techniques commonly used in power systems, data communication networks and information systems. The approach is based on results from real CITI interdependency related data. In our model, we used these data to identify the origin of different types of CITI failure and their impacts on critical infrastructures. Following that, we developed techniques to estimate interdependencies between CITI and other critical infrastructures. Finally, we developed techniques to simulate CITI interdependencies in a critical infrastructures simulator. The simulation results were validated against real-life failure cases. Our approach gives a comprehensive solution to CITI interdependency modelling and simulation problems and hence is an important step in the critical infrastructure related research. Even though our techniques are developed for CITI interdependency, they will be useful for other critical infrastructure networks as well.

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