Milestone 2

Critical Infrastructures are complex systems already today, and they will become even more complex in the years ahead. They are overwhelmingly important for the normal functioning of modern societies. They are large, distributed, heterogeneous, mutually dependent, cyber-physical systems The role of heterogeneous complex information systems to control them will grow significantly. A new generation of information technologies is needed to support the trend towards more complex, more dependent, more heterogeneous, and last but not least more important Critical Infrastructures in all areas of modern societies.

Critical Infrastructures are dynamic systems. As physical systems they show behaviour according to physical and technical rules. As controlled systems they follow the rules defined in the underlying policy. They have to work under normal, exceptional, and emergency conditions. Human operators play a central role to manage them together with sophisticated control systems. Whereas CI are quite well manageable under normal conditions things tend to become much more challenging under exceptional and emergency conditions. Especially under such conditions even experienced human operators need dedicated support in situation assessment and in finding adequate reactions. Large amounts of incoming information – from various sensors, from collaboration partners, or from other stakeholders – have to be filtered, combined, evaluated, etc. in order to get a comprehensive picture of the situation. That’s the main focus of EMILI: to support human operators by innovative situation assessment and decision support methods and tools.

Today, control systems in Critical Infrastructures are traditional large software systems – frequently heterogeneous and historically grown. Their adaptation to new conditions, their extension, their validation and their maintenance are complex endeavours.

We need new information and communication technologies in order to manage this complexity. These technologies should be adapted to the dynamics of Critical Infrastructures, they should support reactivity and dynamic control, and they should allow us to take their physical and technical behaviour into account. EMILI aims at developing these innovative information technologies for the special purpose of emergency management in large complex Critical Infrastructures like airports, metro systems, and power grids.

Emergency management in Critical Infrastructures is a challenging task with many facets. In EMILI we identified those aspects of emergency management where users need special support and where new information technologies can provide this support. In a comprehensive requirements analysis we identified these issues. Emergency management in Critical Infrastructures has mainly four aspects: preparedness, response, mitigation, and recovery. EMILI’s approach concentrates on those aspects of emergency management where immediate operator support is most urgent and where significantly improved support can be provided with new information technologies: immediate reactions to exceptional and emergency situations in a first response phase.

The key idea of EMILI for emergency management in Critical Infrastructures is based on two pillars and their tight relationships:

  • situation assessment and
  • reactions to these situations.

Semantic technologies in our Superior Operational Management Layer SOMAL provide the information backbone for the large amount of heterogeneous information to be processed.

Complex event processing in DURA – our event and action language - enables us to analyse large amounts of dynamically incoming heterogeneous event data streams in conjunction with different kinds of static data and to identify complex patterns in them. Together with state based models this provides the basis for fast (real time) and complex situation assessments. Reactions can be modelled as simple or complex actions. These actions can be related to situations in event condition action rules.

In order to process complex events and actions with the needed high efficiency sophisticated dynamic database technologies provided by MonetDB are used.

The Simulation and Training Environment SITE has been designed as platform for a broad spectrum of applications. Various simulations can smoothly be integrated and used to model physical and technical behaviours. Our three use cases – the airport, the metro, and the power grid use case – were comprehensively analysed w.r.t. to modelling with SOMAL and DURA, and to processing them with our technologies.

Milestone 2 Deliverables