Ontology-based Domain Modeling, Critical Infrastructure,
Geographical Information System,
Geo-Visualization Methods and Tools
Dr. Seok-Won Lee
(SIS), Dr. Wei-Ning Xiang (GIS)
McNally (GIS), Deepak Yavagal
infrastructure (CI) is an array of assets and systems that, if
disrupted, would threaten national security, economy, public
health and safety, and way of life. These include, but are not
limited to, utilities, medical facilities, public
transportation, telecommunication networks, landmarks,
buildings, and public spaces. In recent years, unfortunately,
critical infrastructures have become the symbolic targets, as
well as the mass casualty opportunities, for terrorist attack.
Because of this dual identity of critical infrastructures and
the high level of vulnerability they bear, critical
infrastructure protection (CIP) has topped the list of
priorities in the practice of homeland security planning in the
United States. Since the tragic events of September 11th, 2001,
CIP drills have become an integral part of every
counter-terrorism exercise across the country.
Essential to the practice of CIP planning and drills are two
pieces of knowledge. One is about the interactions among
different CI components in a public utility system, and the
other the relation between the functionality of a public utility
system and the interactions among the system’s CI components.
More specifically, there is a system of critical infrastructures
in every municipality across the country that, along with other
infrastructure systems, provides a range of public utilities
through the synergetic functions of its individual components.
The utility of traffic control in a municipality, for example,
is provided by a utility system of at least three CI
components—power grid, telecommunication network, and traffic
control boxes. The behavior of such a utility system cannot be
fully described and thus understood by the behaviors of its CI
components. For CIP professionals, a thorough understanding of
how individual CI components interact with one another in
support of the functionality of a utility system is crucial to
the exercises of such tasks as vulnerability assessment,
scenario composition, and homeland security drills.
As important as they are, however, the two pieces of knowledge
are usually sparse and tacit in nature because both the way a CI
system is managed and the way CI information is collected are
compartmentalized or segmented. In the above example, each of
the three components in the traffic control utility system is
usually owned by and managed through power companies,
telecommunication companies, and the local transportation
department, respectively. It is not in their individual
interests to collect information on the interactions among CI
components, and on the efficacy of these interactions in
relation to the performance of the traffic control system.
In this project, we study an object-oriented method that
facilitates CIP professionals’ learning of the interactions
among CI components in relation to the functionality of a public
utility system. Employing an integrated system of GIS and a
generic object modeling tool (GenOM), it represents and
visualizes the two pieces of knowledge both geographically and
diagrammatically. Both the interactions among different CI
components and their effects on the functionality of a utility
system can be vividly rendered. Furthermore, the inference
engine embedded in GenOM allows CIP professionals to explore
various scenarios of utility system failure and their spatial
ramifications with “what-if” queries.
McNally, R., Lee, S.W. and Xiang, W-N.
Abstract: “An Ontology-based Approach for Representing and Visualizing
Interdependencies across Critical Infrastructures” In Proceedings of
the 9th International Computers in Urban Planning and Urban Management
Conference (CUPUM ’05), June 29 – July 1. University College London.
McNally, R., Lee, S.W., Yavagal, D.S. and
Xiang, W-N. “An Ontology-driven Approach to Representing and
Visualizing Critical Infrastructure Interdependencies”,
Proceedings of the
Auto-Carto 05, A CaGIS Research Symposium, March 18-23, Las Vegas.
The Cartography and Geographic Information Society (CaGIS). 2005.
McNally, R., Lee, S.W., Yavagal, D.S. and
Xiang, W-N. Abstract: “An Object-Oriented Method For Representing And
Visualizing Interdependencies Across Critical Infrastructure Layers”,
Abstract: The 2005 Meeting of The Association of American Geographers
(AAG ‘05), 101st AAG Annual Meeting, April 5-9, Denver, Colorado.