CERIAS - Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

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Purdue University
Center for Education and Research in Information Assurance and Security

Visual Analytics for Security Applications (VASA)

Principal Investigator: David Ebert

VASA analyzes emergency situations caused by severe weather conditions and natural disasters. The system presents historical and simulated events where users can instantly consider various scenarios, alternative, operational and simulation attributes. Based on these decisions and parameters, new simulations may be run to explore the effects on multiple critical infrastructures (e.g., power, computer networks, water, transportation, sewer) and the effectiveness of contingency plans and mitigation strategies.

One example is a franchise food network, where food delivery routes change based on store and infrastructure damage. In this visual analytics environment, analysts and decision-makers can effectively monitor the situation, understand the impact of these storms on critical infrastructure, and evaluate potential re-routed road paths for the food network with adjusted parameters. Business officials and local officials can use this tool to evaluate continuity of operation plans, plan for contingencies, prepare for, and respond to a severe weather event or natural disaster. Rerouting suggestions for food distribution centers impacted by a severe weather occurrence to facilitate decision-making in emergency situations. Data layers included: infrastructure geolocations, distribution routes, economic and business models, and weather event data.

Representative Publications

  • Ko, S., Zhao, J., Xia, J., Afzal, S., Wang, X., Abram, G., ... & Ebert, D. S. (2014). VASA: Interactive Computational Steering of Large Asynchronous Simulation Pipelines for Societal Infrastructure. IEEE Transactions on Visualization and Computer Graphics, 20(12), 1853-1862.