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Definition of a methodology for the assessment of mutual interdependencies between ICT and Electricity Generation / Transmission Infrastructure

rapporti - Rapporto di Sintesi

Definition of a methodology for the assessment of mutual interdependencies between ICT and Electricity Generation / Transmission Infrastructure

The MIA project aims to develop a methodological framework to identify and measure the (potentially critical) interdependencies between Power System & ICT infrastructures as vital input for network vulnerability and risk analysis.

The MIA project aims to develop a methodological framework to identify and measure the (potentially critical) interdependencies between Power System & ICT infrastructures as vital input for network vulnerability and risk analysis.

Critical Infrastructures (CI) must be considered, nowadays, an entangled “system of systems” as their interdependency, at any level, is undeniable. At the highest level of abstraction, CIs are systems which provide services to other systems from which they receive, in turn, services needed for their own functioning. Although the link between the systems, can be more or less evident, the complete network of such a “system of systems” must be thought as a fully connected graph. The assessed interdependency between all CIs is thus going to compel the set-up of a paradigm for the design of new tools for their analysis and control.

This paradigm require the knowledge of all networks in terms of their structure, their functioning, their needs. Vulnerability and resilience of such a “system of systems” are thus strongly related to the resilience of the single system and of the single elements of each system. A failure of an element of one CI can have strong repercussions on other CIs. The description of the “system of systems” , developed in MIA project, at an abstract level has allowed to understand the need of providing more and more information on the “degree” of interdependency linking different CIs.

Beyond a mere, qualitative, description of the presence of some dependency mechanism among a generic CI, say A, with an other CI, say B, a more quantitative assessment of the strength of the link AB is needed. The program of building a new paradigm and new tools for interdependency assessment, however, should take the moves from a very basic action: the understanding of the key nature of each of the interdependency links and, after that, the evaluation of their strengths.

In technical words, one must define a “metric” which is able to capture the extent of the interdependency link once its nature is known. This is just the main aim of the Project MIA: start this quest by attacking the problem of the interdependency metric definition of the links connecting two of the most relevant CIs: the electrical system and the telecommunication system. The proposed metrics are discussed and their outcomes, when applied to real cases, are evaluated.

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