IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019 - 19

and businesses they serve are key obstacles in infrastructure systems analysis. We have painstakingly managed to
assemble infrastructure data for all of Great Britain and
have growing coverage of infrastructure networks around
the world. Big data sets, such as OpenStreetMap and
nighttime light observations, are rapidly opening up new
opportunities for infrastructure systems analysis in datasparse situations. Data sets from mobile phones (e.g.,
vehicle tracking data) are providing valuable new insights.
So far, we have not sought to model systems in real time
(or near real time), but the sensors and data sets that
might make that feasible are rapidly proliferating.
All of these developments require increasing computational capabilities, which is why I have made the business
case and have now received GB£8 million in new funding
for the Data and Analytics Facility for National Infrastructure (DAFNI), which will be based at the Rutherford
Appleton Laboratory (RAL) in Harwell, United Kingdom.
Its development program began in 2017, with a planned
final delivery in 2021. An overview of DAFNI's capabilities
is presented in Figure 4. The facility combines investment
in high-performance computation (HPC) and high-volume
data storage (alongside other HPC and big data facilities
at RAL) with a software platform to provide an environment for simulation modeling that can readily access the
data sets stored in the national infrastructure database.
Cloud-bursting technologies will enable seamless access
to commercial cloud computation resources when the inhouse hardware capacity is exceeded. The National Infrastructure Modeling Service will deal with the model

integration, workflows, uncertainty analysis, and optimization that is currently embedded in NISMOD. New visualization facilities will enable interaction with modelers and
decision makers.
The NISMOD national infrastructure systems model
provides the capacity to rapidly analyze alternatives and
compare them, based on a consistent set of metrics. I foresee this process of national infrastructure assessment
becoming progressively more open and inclusive, so that
different stakeholders can propose and analyze alternative
infrastructure strategies. The shared modeling capability
we will develop in the new ITRC program is particularly
important in the context of devolution, in which Britain's
nations, regions, and cities are taking responsibility for
infrastructure. A shared systems view of the United Kingdom's infrastructure networks will enable devolved initiatives to be formulated in the context of a consistent overall
strategy.
Finally, while NISMOD has been developed for Britain,
the ITRC's new ITRC program will be exploring the transferability of NISMOD to other countries, including emerging economies, where the pace of infrastr ucture
development is fastest; least-developed countries, where
the infrastructure deficit is greatest; postdisaster situations, where there is a growing recognition of the need to
"build back better"; and postconflict situations, where
infrastructure planning and investment can provide a
route to a peaceful and prosperous future. Many aspects
of NISMOD need to be adapted to deal with the challenges of these different settings, making the most of new

Modeling, Simulation, and Visualization Facility
National Infrastructure
Modeling Service (NIMS)

National Infrastructure
Cloud Service

* Central Modeling
Capability
* Stewarded Model
Catalog of Validated
Models
* Dedicated Computation
Infrastructure for Model
Execution

* Flexible Collaboration
Workspaces
* Centralized On-Demand
High-Performance
Computation
Environments
* Optimized Access to
National Infrastructure
Database (NID), NIMS,
and NIVS

NID
* Provision for Creation, Management,
and Publication of Data Assets
* Services in Support of Data
Validation and Quality Assurance

National Infrastructure
Visualisation Suite (NIVS)
* Managed State-of-the-Art
Visualization Toolkit
* Augmented and Virtual
Reality Capability
* Enable Access to Statistical
and Geospatial Visualization
Methods

DAFNI Security Service
* Federated Access to DAFNI Platform
* Policies and Procedures for User Verification,
Account Management, etc.
* Access Control Policies for Data, Models,
and Computational Infrastructure
* User Activity Monitoring and Reporting

Figure 4. An overview of the DAFNI architecture.

Ju ly 2019

IEEE SYSTEMS, MAN, & CYBERNETICS MAGAZINE

19



IEEE Systems, Man and Cybernetics Magazine - July 2019

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