Alumni profile: A clear view of cascading failure

Naim Falandino

Naim Falandino (MSI '12) knows that network theory gives us a new way of looking at the world. Representing interdependent network models can be challenging, however.

Falandino's "Simfuse: Cascade Failure Simulator for Interdependent Networks," a simulation and visualization tool, allowed interdependent networks to be displayed and measured as they change over time.

"Presently, the tool supports simulating cascade failure events within the network, visualized using either a static Fruchterman-Reingold layout or a real-time force-directed layout," he said when developing Simfuse.

Falandino developed the Simfuse tool and showed it at the annual expoSItion of student projects. He used Java and the Prefuse visualization toolkit and JUNG (Java Universal Network/Graph Framework). To facilitate the concept of interdependent networks, an extension to the GraphML schema was used to allow for the identification of nodes and edges within their respective networks.

His project was an effective prototype for visualizing and measuring cascade failure events in interdependent networks. He said the force-directed layout in particular was very interesting in that it animated the network and it was easy to see the structure change and rebalance as failures propagated through the network.

"This tool will be expanded and enhanced to include additional event types, network models, and visualizations," Falandino said.