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Multilayer Network Approach for Protection and Management of a National Digital Infrastructure


Herrera, M., Sasidharan, M., Cassidy, S., & Parlikad, A. K. Multilayer network approach for protection and management of a national digital infrastructure. Available at SSRN 4173672.





University of Cambridge


The physical assets within a critical infrastructure system are pivotal to its efficient performance and protection and that of other dependent systems. This is particularly the case for the communication systems where network protection strategies usually involve asset redundancy. Although such a redundancy is well modelled in the literature, there is a gap in knowledge from a network science perspective in terms of its implications for network modelling and performance assessment. This paper presents a multilayer network framework that takes into account the heterogeneity of the redundant infrastructure for realistic network modelling and further analysis, a step change from using a single network model. Key performance indicators (KPIs) for communication networks (i.e., latency and jitter, bandwidth and throughput, queue depth and packet drops) are redefined to evaluate key important features of a long-haul backbone network such as network capacity and average use. In addition, these KPIs are adapted to deal with the aforementioned redundancy and so inform network managers with values defined over a model closer to the real system. The paper analyses the use case of a nationwide core and metro network infrastructure of one of the main UK internet service providers. The results of the analysis of KPIs showcases the advantage of the proposed multilayer network framework over the traditional single network model. Critical network elements within different layers of the communication networks are identified based on their performance to prioritise.

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