CRISP Type 2: Collaborative Research: Towards Resilient Smart Cities

Award Numbers: 1541105 1541069 1541108

Project Summary: 
Realizing the vision of truly smart cities is one of the most pressing technical challenges of the coming decade. The success of this vision requires synergistic integration of cyber-physical critical infrastructures (CIs) such as smart transportation, wireless systems, water networks, and power grids into a unified smart city. Such smart city CIs have significant resource dependence as they share energy, computation, wireless spectrum, users and personnel, and economic investments, and as such are prone to correlated failures due to day-to-day operations, natural disasters, or malicious attacks. Protecting tomorrow's smart cities from such failures requires instilling resiliency into the processes that manage the city's common CI resources. Such processes must be able to adaptively and optimally reallocate smart city resources to recover from failure. The goal of this Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes (CRISP) collaborative research project is to address this fundamental challenge via a coordinated and interdisciplinary approach that relies on machine learning, operations research, behavioral economics, and cognitive psychology to lay the mathematical foundations of resilient smart cities. The anticipated results will break new ground in the understanding of synergies between multiple cyber-physical infrastructures and resilient resource management thus catalyzing the global deployment of smart cities. This research will yield advances in the areas of resilient systems, cyber-physical systems, security and privacy engineering, game theory, computer and network science, behavioral economics, data analytics, and psychology. The project will involve students from diverse backgrounds across engineering, computer science, economics, and psychology that will be trained on pertinent research issues related to smart cities and resiliency. The project will also contribute to fostering trust between residents and the various technological processes that are fundamental to the operation of a smart city.

This research will introduce a foundational, transformational, analytical framework for leveraging synergies between a city's CIs to yield resilient resource management schemes cognizant of both technological and human factors. By bringing together researchers from interdisciplinary fields, this framework yields several advances:
1) Rigorous mathematical tools for delineating the inter-dependencies between CIs via a complementary mix of novel tools from graph theory, power indices, machine learning, and random spatial models; 
2) Resilient resource management mechanisms that advance notions from frameworks such as behavioral game theory to enable optimized management of shared CI resources in face of failures stemming from agents of varying intelligence levels; 
3) Behavioral models for characterizing the trust relationships between the residents of a smart city and the CIs; 
4) Behavioral studies that provide guidelines on how to influence the users of the CIs in such a way so as to improve the resiliency of the CIs; and 
5) Large-scale smart city simulators coupled with realistic experiments that will bridge the gap between theory and practice. The insights from this project will apply to the future scientific cyber-infrastructures that are likely to be interconnected as well as interdependent. The simulator will be a software artifact that would be a useful component of a scientific cyberinfrastructure aimed at understanding (for example) smart cities.