A geographic and functional network flow analysis tool
Martin, Kevin M.
Alderson, David L.
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Critical infrastructure systems, such as water and electricity, are important for society and national defense. There is a need for network analysis tools that allow analysts to study potential scenarios to discover vulnerabilities, assess consequences, and evaluate effective solutions to overcome network weaknesses. In order to be useful, models of critical infrastructure systems need to be realistic, both geospatially and functionally. The objective of this thesis is to bridge the gap between geospatial and functional network analysis by developing a software tool that allows users to create and edit networks in a Graphical Information System (GIS) visual environment, and then also run and view the results of functional network models. Our primary contribution is to provide an easy-to-use, graphical interface in the form of a plugin that allows users, regardless of their network expertise, to create networks and exercise network flow models on them. We demonstrate the usefulness of our plugin through the analysis of a fictional case study with a realistic Internet infrastructure. We run several minimum cost flow models with simulated network attacks to assess the robustness of the network.
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