Improving Bulk Power System Resilience by Ranking Critical Nodes in the Vulnerability Graph

Haque, A., Shetty, S., and Kamdem, G.


In Proceedings of the Annual Simulation Symposium (ANSS '18). Society for Computer Simulation International, San Diego, CA, USA, Article 8, 12 pages.


This paper focuses on the resilience quantification and critical node identification which can be applicable to Bulk Power System (BPS). The Industrial Control System (ICS) is an integral part of the BPS. The ICS itself is not vulnerable because of its proprietary technology. But when the control network and the corporate network need to have communications to ICS for performance measurements and reporting, the ICS become vulnerable to cyberattacks. Considering the need for developing an algorithm to improve the resilience of a target network, we are proposing an MADM (Multiple Attribute Decision Making) based ranking algorithm using a multi-layered directed acyclic graph (DAG) model. The node ranking process can facilitate to harden the network from vulnerabilities and threats by ranking the critical nodes in the network. Our proposed MVNRank (Multiple Vulnerability Node Rank) algorithm takes into account asset value of the network nodes. Some of the other factors that are being considered for the formulation of the algorithm are exploit scores and impact scores of vulnerabilities as quantified by CVSS (Common Vulnerability Scoring System), the total number of vulnerabilities that a host may have and severity level of each vulnerability. The algorithm also takes into account the degree centrality of the nodes and attacker’s distance from the target node in the vulnerability graph. Simulation results show that the ranking can be used to identify the critical network elements which can contribute to resilience improvement process of the BPS.

Related Videos

Related Technologies

Related Impact Areas

Copyright Notice

This material is presented to ensure timely dissemination of scholarly and technical work. Copyright and all rights therein are retained by authors or by other copyright holders. All persons copying this information are expected to adhere to the terms and constraints invoked by each author's copyright. In most cases, these works may not be reposted without the explicit permission of the copyright holder.

  1. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IEEE publications: "Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/publish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must be obtained from IEEE."

  2. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in ACM publications: "© ACM, effective the year of publication shown in the bibliographic information. This file is the authorís version of the work. It is posted here by permission of ACM for your personal use. Not for redistribution. The definitive version was published in the journal or proceedings indicated in the bibliographic data for each item."

  3. The following copyright notice applies to all of the above items that appear in IFAC publications: "Document is being reproduced under permission of the Copyright Holder. Use or reproduction of the Document is for informational or personal use only."