Resilient Architectures for Command and Control

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

Speaker:  Professor Alexander H. Levis

Faculty Host: Professor Jonathan Chao

Whether natural or man-made disruptions are the cause, we need to design and develop systems that can survive and recover from such disruptions, i.e., design resilient systems. Furthermore, it is much preferable to build in resilience at the architecture design stage rather than add resilience at the end of system design. The evaluation of resilience can occur at two levels: the functional level (as described by the operational and data viewpoints of an architecture) and at the implementation level (the services and systems viewpoints of an architecture). A quantitative approach for evaluating resilience for information based systems is presented. First a number of attributes of resilience are defined that capture different facets of the problem. Then, once an architecture is designed and represented in a form conformant to one of the current architecture frameworks (e.g.,
DoDAF 2), a Colored Petri Net executable model of the architecture is derived to serve as the basis for the evaluation of resilience measures. Structural and behavioral analysis algorithms available though Petri Net theory are used to compute these measures are then combine them into an overall evaluation of resilience. The evaluation results can then be used to support selection among alternative candidate architectures and to identify areas for improvement in the selected architecture.  The approach is illustrated through the application to a maritime command and control problem of current interest.

About The Speaker
Alexander H. Levis is University Professor of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering and heads the System Architectures Laboratory at George Mason University, Fairfax, VA.  From 2001 to 2004 he served as the Chief Scientist of the U.S. Air Force. He was educated at MIT (BS, MS, MechE, ScD) with control systems as his area of specialization. From 1968 to 1973 he served on the faculty of the Electrical Engineering Department of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. From 1973 to 1979 he was with Systems Control, Inc in PaloAlto, CA. From 1979 to 1990 he was Senior Research Scientist at the lab for Information and Decision Systems at MIT. He joined Gerge
Mason University in 1990.

Dr. Levis is a Life Fellow of the IEEE and past president of the IEEE Control Systems Society; a Fellow of the AAAS, a Fellow of the International Council on Systems Engineering (INCOSE), and an Associate Fellow of AIAA. He served on the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board from 1990 to 2008, and currently serves on the Homeland Security Science and Technology Advisory Committee, on one of the USSTRATCOM Strategic Advisory Group’s panels, and on the Board of the Educational Foundation of AFCEA from which he received the Distinguished Service to Education award in 1996 and a Special Award of Merit in 2006. He served on the NASA Advisory Council from 2008 to 2011.  He has received three times the Exceptional Civilian Service medal from the Air Force (1994, 2001, 2004) and the Meritorious Civilian Service medal (2008) for contributions as a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and as Chief Scientist. He has also received the Air Force Chief’s Medallion and the Third Millennium medal from IEEE. For the last fifteen years, his areas of research have been organization architecture design and evaluation, adaptive architectures for command and control, adversary modeling for behavioral analysis, and methodologies for architecture comparison and evaluation. He has over 260 publications documenting his research, including the three volume set that he co-edited on The Science of Command and Control, published by AFCEA, and The Limitless Sky: Air Force Science and Technology contributions to the Nation published in 2004 by the Air Force.