Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Cyberwarfare, conservation and disease prevention could benefit from new network model

Date:
July 10, 2012
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
A new computer model could help military strategists devise the most damaging cyber attacks as well as guard America's critical infrastructure. The model also could benefit other projects involving interconnected groups, such as restoring ecosystems, halting disease epidemics and stopping smugglers.

Computer networks are the battlefields in cyberwarfare, as exemplified by the United States' recent use of computer viruses to attack Iran's nuclear program. A computer model developed at the University of Missouri could help military strategists devise the most damaging cyber attacks as well as guard America's critical infrastructure. The model also could benefit other projects involving interconnected groups, such as restoring ecosystems, halting disease epidemics and stopping smugglers.

"Our model allows users to identify the best or worst possible scenarios of network change," said Tim Matisziw, assistant professor of geography and engineering at MU. "The difficulty in evaluating a networks' resilience is that there are an infinite number of possibilities, which makes it easy to miss important scenarios. Previous studies focused on the destruction of large hubs in a network, but we found that in many cases the loss of smaller facilities can be just as damaging. Our model can suggest ways to have the maximum impact on a network with the minimum effort."

Limited resources can hinder law enforcement officers' ability to stop criminal organizations. Matisziw's model could help design plans which efficiently use a minimum of resources to cause the maximum disruption of trafficking networks and thereby reduce flows of drugs, weapons and exploited people. In a similar fashion, disease outbreaks could be mitigated by identifying and then blocking important links in their transmission, such as airports.

However, there are some networks that society needs to keep intact. After the breakdown of such a network, the model can be used to evaluate what could have made the disruption even worse and help officials prevent future problems. For example, after an electrical grid failure, such as the recent blackout in the eastern United States, future system failures could be pinpointed using the model. The critical weak points in the electrical grid could then be fortified before disaster strikes.

The model also can determine if a plan is likely to create the strongest network possible. For example, when construction projects pave over wetland ecosystems, the law requires that new wetlands be created. However, ecologists have noted that these new wetlands are often isolated from existing ecosystems and have little value to wildlife. Matisziw's model could help officials plan the best places for new wetlands so they connect with other natural areas and form wildlife corridors or stretches of wilderness that connect otherwise isolated areas and allow them to function as one ecosystem.

Matisziw's model was documented in the publicly available journal PLoS ONE. Making such a powerful tool widely available won't be a danger, Matisziw said. To use his model, a network must be understood in detail. Since terrorists and other criminals don't have access to enough data about the networks, they won't be able to use the model to develop doomsday scenarios.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Timothy C. Matisziw, Tony H. Grubesic, Junyu Guo. Robustness Elasticity in Complex Networks. PLoS ONE, 2012; 7 (7): e39788 DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0039788

Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Cyberwarfare, conservation and disease prevention could benefit from new network model." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 July 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710171735.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2012, July 10). Cyberwarfare, conservation and disease prevention could benefit from new network model. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 2, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710171735.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Cyberwarfare, conservation and disease prevention could benefit from new network model." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120710171735.htm (accessed October 2, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Mozilla Bets On Software To Sell Its Chromecast Competitor

Newsy (Oct. 1, 2014) Mozilla's Matchstick streaming device is entering a crowded market. The company is banking on open-source software to rise above the competition. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

App Teaches Kindergarteners to Code

AP (Oct. 1, 2014) They can't all read yet, but soon kindergarteners may be able to create basic computer code. Researchers in Massachusetts developed an app that teaches young kids a simple computer programming language. (Oct. 1) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Microsoft Goes For Familiarity Over Novelty In Windows 10

Newsy (Sep. 30, 2014) At a special event in San Francisco, Microsoft introduced its latest operating system, Windows 10, which combines key features from earlier versions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

French Apple Fans Discover the Apple Watch

AFP (Sep. 30, 2014) Apple fans in France discover the latest toy, the Apple Watch. The watch comes in two sizes and an array of interchangeable, fashionable wrist straps. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins