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Infrastructure Resilience Conference 2018

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Ontology-Based Information System for Critical Infrastructure Interdependency

Critical infrastructures are providing flows of services, the disruption of which are seriously affecting society's functioning and well-being. There is an emerging trend of interdependencies within and between infrastructure systems becoming more coupled, making them prone to ‘domino effects’. While interdependencies within an infrastructure system may be represented as flows of networks, the representation of interdependencies between systems has been a challenge. In general, interdependencies of different forms have been identified and categorised in two types: flow and non-flow interdependencies. A comprehensive understanding of infrastructure interdependencies is a necessary first step towards better preparedness and more effective loss mitigation measures. However, limited work can be found on this subject, especially about the non-flow interdependencies.

This work aims to clearly define interdependencies of critical infrastructures or systems and build the framework for knowledge of infrastructures and their interdependencies. Based on this framework, a tool will be developed to represent interdependencies of different systems. As a navigation approach, the ontology provides a means to navigate through specific terms and definitions linked in a network of relationships. It can be manipulated directly as a standalone tool that offers the user a view of the domain coverage and the scope of the service. Ontology-driven approaches provide formal representation tools to represent systems and system-of-systems that are close to natural language, which fosters joint understanding. Once a formal consistent representation exists, ontology-driven information systems (ODIS) provide interfaces to answer what-if questions (query languages), to automate or semi-automate inferential reasoning.

This ODIS can be used to connect to the existing database and support different applications (e.g. urban planning, spatial analysis). This work will enhance the understanding of CI interdependencies and improve the analysis of the behaviour and relationship of complex systems. The ontology framework of CIs interdependencies can be integrated with other approaches to support different applications, such as resilience analysis and urban infrastructure development.

Jingya YAN
ETH Zurich, Future Resilient Systems, Singapore-ETH Centre

Li Zhou
Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, National University of Singapore


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