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Self-organizing Adaptive Technology underlying Resilient Networks

SATURN is a collaborative research programme with the aim of improving the resilience of the UK critical national infrastructure (CNI), via a combination of enhanced situational awareness tools and dynamic semi-autonomous service management technologies. We aim to demonstrate a smarter and scalable service capability than exists within the CNI today. The focus is the automated discovery of sensor or service feeds, combined with intelligent data visualisation, and translation into sets of meta-services.

To achieve our aims we will focus on the use of innovative self-organizing ICT systems and algorithms to allow dynamic and semi-autonomous operation. These will leverage state-of-the-art artificial intelligence (AI) techniques and networking technologies, in order to encapsulate the underlying critical network and service complexity.
The Saturn consortium is comprised of the following organisations:

British Telecommunications plc

Northrop Grumman Corporation (NYSE: NOC)

Imperial College (Electrical and Electronic Engineering).

Department of Computer Science (Cyber Security Centre), University of Oxford

Saďd Business School (CABDyN Complexity Centre), University of Oxford

The programme will deliver tools and techniques to protect against the vulnerabilities of complex networks and information systems. The competition for funding the programme was organised by the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB), the Centre for the Protection of National Infrastructure (CPNI) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

As part of the research programme Northrop Grumman will develop a state-of-the-art Cyber Test Range, which will be located at Northrop Grumman’s facility in Fareham, and will provide the UK with the environment and capability to conduct meaningful cyber experiments and assessments of infrastructure survivability and assurance. It will also enable testing and analysis of new concepts and technologies to protect against modern cyber threats.

The Cyber Range capability will be leveraged for use in evaluating the effects of cyber threats on large scale, complex, heterogeneous and cooperative network structures.  The SATURN programme will demonstrate how self-managing, intelligent services can enable the rapid discovery and fusion of critical network data flows in real-time. The programme will also develop novel tools and techniques for visualising and understanding the complex interdependencies between the service layer and underlying physical networks. In addition, it will enhance the theory of complex networks in the Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) domain, creating new modelling and simulation capabilities targeted specifically at protecting current and future infrastructures.

The key output will be an advanced demonstrator that displays ultra-resilient Information and Communication Technology (ICT) service capabilities. Some of the enhanced capabilities the research will address include:

Visualisation of large-scale and multi-layer critical networks

Self-organising network management functionality

Run-time and dynamic service management

Enhanced sensor network integration and data fusion.


Further information
Saturn Programme Chair
Dr Robert Ghanea-Hercock