Title: Failures propagation in critical interdependent infrastructures

Authors: Stefano Panzieri, Roberto Setola

Addresses: Dipartimento Informatica e Automazione, Universita degli Studi ''Roma TRE'', via della Vasca Navale 79, Roma 00146, Italy. ' Complex Systems and Security Lab, Universita Campus Bio-Medico di Roma, Via A. del Portillo 21, Roma, 00128, Italy

Abstract: Welfare in developed countries strongly relies on many heterogeneous infrastructures generically named as critical infrastructures. These infrastructures, designed as autonomous systems, are actually more and more mutually dependent. This introduces new and extremely dangerous vulnerabilities in the overall system because an accidental or a malicious fault (e.g. terroristic attack) could exploit these |connections|to unpredictably spread, amplifying its negative consequences and affecting unforeseeable and haphazard sets of users. In this paper, we analyse performance degradation induced on this system of systems by the presence and spreading of failures in order to emphasise the most critical links existing among different phenomena. Due to uncertainties that characterise these systems, we use Fuzzy Numbers (FNs) to represent involved quantities. This allows a modelling approach that can be set up using also qualitative information that are easier to obtain from experts and stakeholders. Moreover, this choice brings to a better characterisation of the level of confidence of our results. Preliminary results on a simple case study illustrate the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

Keywords: interdependencies; critical infrastructures; complex systems; critical infrastructure protection; CIP; large-scale systems; heterogeneous complex networks; input-output inoperability; failure propagation; vulnerabilities; performance degradation; system of systems; fuzzy numbers; modelling.

DOI: 10.1504/IJMIC.2008.018186

International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, 2008 Vol.3 No.1, pp.69 - 78

Available online: 10 May 2008 *

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