11 November 2012

Call for papers: Dependable and Secure Computing for Large-Scale Complex Critical Infrastructures

A special issue of International Journal of Critical Computer-Based Systems

Large-scale complex critical infrastructures (LCCIs), such as water and power supply plants or transport infrastructures (e.g. airports and seaports), play a key role in several fundamental human activities. It is easy to appreciate their economic and social impact: the consequences of an outage can be catastrophic in terms of efficiency, economical losses, consumer dissatisfaction, and even indirect harm to people and deaths.

Currently, LCCIs make extensive use of information and communication technology (ICT) (e.g. computing systems, communication networks and sensing hardware), particularly software systems for LCCI interconnection, control and management in charge of providing support for advanced monitoring and control facilities.

These systems have to be highly resilient in order to reduce the risk of LCCI catastrophic failures. Nevertheless, the resiliency of future LCCIs is compromised by several factors which can be intentional and unintentional. Firstly, these systems are increasingly conceived as the composition of several Off-The-Shelf (OTS) items and/or legacy subsystems, increasing the probability of failure occurrences due to unexpected or erroneous modes of operation. Secondly, they have been designed without considering that their size will grow significantly and cross national boundaries, and that their operational environment, originally planned to be "closed", would become "open" to the world to allow interoperability among LCCIs and remote access and control. This implies that the both accidental events and malicious attacks should be taken into account.

The novel challenges posed by LCCIs correspond with the unsuitability of current systems; existing solutions are usually applied to simpler and closed systems. The innovative and challenging aspect is to apply these available strategies or to define novel ones in the context of complex, evolvable and extremely heterogeneous systems which will compose future LCCI systems.

The defining of novel middleware technologies, models and methods is required to assess and ensure the resiliency level of current and future OTS-based LCCIs, to diagnose faults in real time, and to tolerate them by means of dynamic reconfiguration. Assuring the resiliency level of LCCIs is crucial to reduce, with known probabilities, the occurrence of catastrophic failures, and consequently, to adopt proper diagnosis and reconfiguration strategies.

The issue will carry revised and substantially extended versions of selected papers presented at the 1st International Workshop on Dependable and Secure Computing for Large-Scale Complex Critical Infrastructures (to be held on 25 September, 2012 within the context of SAFECOMP 2012), but we also strongly encourage researchers unable to participate in the conference to submit articles for this call.

Suitable topics include but are not limited to:
  • Distributed architectures for LCCIs, their components (OTS and legacy), and their resiliency and security requirements
  • Middleware architectures for improving dependability attributes of future LCCIs
  • Strategies for online diagnosis and reconfiguration of OTS-based LCCIs
  • Methods for improving the dependable and secure characteristics of ICT platforms used to build LCCIs
  • Tools and techniques for modelling and evaluating LCCIs
  • Use cases of future critical networked systems
Important Dates
Paper submission deadline: 28 February, 2013 (extended)
Review outcome notification:  5 April, 2013
Final paper submission:  7 June, 2013

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