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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Prototyping and cells modeling of the infrastructure interdependencies simulator I2Sim Liu, Lu


The functioning of modern societies is strongly dependent upon an array of complex national infrastructure networks such as power utilities, information technology, health care, water supply and transportation; these networks provide material support for the delivery of basic services to all segments of the society. However, these critical infrastructures are becoming increasingly complex and fragile because of their tightly coupled structures which can rapidly propagate failures. Thus, there is a need to investigate the highly complex physical, information, geographic, and logic interdependencies among critical infrastructures. One needs to fully understand the dynamic behaviors of these interdependent networks in order to analyze and evaluate their robustness and resilience to natural disasters. This also helps operators to take actions in order to optimize the coordination among infrastructures during emergencies. Models based on a novel approach have been implemented. In this thesis, a reduced scale test case model of the University of British Columbia's critical infrastructures has been developed and implemented in software. Critical entities are defined as cells. The cell models are built based on input-output relationships discussed with and validated by the personnel involved with the concerned infrastructures; the interconnections between the cells are modeled as a variety of channels that defines quantities exchanged by different infrastructures, like electric power. The aggregated cells and channels are simulated with an interactive graphical user interface for the study of infrastructure interactions. The simulation indicates that the redundant systems increase the robustness of the cells such as the backup generators in the Hospital; the critical connections, such as the steam pipe linking the Steam Station with the Hospital are identified. These give the decision makers a better understanding of the emergent system behavior under different operational scenarios. One scenario is studied by using a distributor, which allows an operator to find the optimum allocation of the limited resource in order to ensure the best possible operation of the other critical infrastructures during the event. The simulation itself was parallelized, and distributed in PC-cluster at the UBC Power Systems Lab.

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