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Game-Theoretic Approach to Cyber-Physical Infrastructures

RaoDr. Nageswara S. V. Rao, Corporate Fellow
Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
November 21, 2014, 2:30 – 3:30 PM
410 John D. Tickle Engineering Building

Dr. Nageswara S. V. Rao is a Corporate Fellow in Computer Science and Mathematics Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, where he joined in 1993. He was on assignment at Missile Defense Agency as the Technical Director, C2BMC Knowledge Center during 2008-2010.  He received B.Tech from National Institute of Technology, Warangal, India in Electronics and Communications Engineering in 1982, M.E. in Computer Science and Automation from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India in 1984, and PhD in Computer Science from Louisiana State University in 1988. He published more than 350 technical conference and journal papers in the areas of sensor networks, information fusion and high-performance networking. He is a Fellow of IEEE, and received 2005 IEEE Technical Achievement Award and 2014 R&D100 Award. His research projects have been funded by multiple federal agencies including National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Department of Defense, Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

Talk Abstract: Cyber-physical infrastructures are critical to the operation of facilities such as high-performance computing complexes, smart energy grids, multi-unit small modular reactor sites, and others. We consider a class of infrastructures composed of discrete components that can be disrupted by either cyber or physical attacks, and are protected by cyber and physical reinforcements. The cyber and physical parts are correlated so that disruptions to one affect the other and hence the whole system. These correlations may be exploited by the attackers to strategically attack the components, and hence must be accounted for ensuring the infrastructure resilience, specified by its survival probability. We characterize the cyber-physical interactions at two levels:  (i) the failure correlation function specifies the conditional survival probability of cyber sub-infrastructure given the physical sub-infrastructure as a function of their marginal probabilities, and (ii) the individual survival probabilities of both sub-infrastructures are characterized by first-order differential conditions. We formulate a resilience problem for infrastructures composed of discrete components as a game between the provider and attacker. We derive Nash Equilibrium conditions and sensitivity functions that highlight the dependence of infrastructure resilience on the cost term, correlation function and sub-infrastructure survival probabilities. We apply the results to models of high-performance computing infrastructures and energy grids. We also apply a simplified version of this model to UltraScience Net (USN), which is a dedicated, national-scale network infrastructure built to support high-performance network experiments. This approach provided us a systematic guidance for ensuring that there are no more than two USN service disruptions per year over a period of six years.