Assessing vulnerabilities in interdependent infrastructures using attacker-defender models
Dixon, Cory A.
Alderson, David L.
Carlyle, W. Matthew
Brown, Gerald G.
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Our economic and social welfare depend on certain "critical" infrastructures and key resources. Protecting these infrastructures is a challenge because they are complex, and as systems they are difficult to understand, predict and control. In addition, they do not operate in isolation, but are interdependent with other infrastructures. This presents a challenge for their modeling and analysis. Due to the complexity of modeling the operation of just a single infrastructure, most research to date has analyzed infrastructures in isolation. This thesis introduces a taxonomy of dependence relationships and incorporates these relationships into an attacker-defender model of interdependent infrastructure operation. We formulate and solve a sequence of models to illustrate how dependence relationships between infrastructures create vulnerabilities that are not apparent in single-infrastructure models, and we use the results to assess the consequences of disruptions to a system of infrastructures. We provide complete documentation for how to apply these techniques to real infrastructure problems and include a discussion of the necessary assumptions, as well as the pros and cons of our methods. Finally, we present examples of how to provide relevant, understandable results to help decision makers, such as where to make limited investments to increase resilience.
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