Los Alamos National Laboratory
NISAC  National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center

NISAC Tools: Overview

NISAC tools are used for modeling, simulating, and analyzying infrastructure disruptions and natural disasters. Click on each tool name, below, to read more about the tool's model characteristics, application, and confidence.

CIPDSS: Critical Infrastructure Protection Decision Support System

CIPDSS provides information and decision support for the protection of critical infrastructures based on an assessment of risks, appropriately accounting for the likelihood of threat, vulnerabilities, and uncertain consequences associated with terrorist activities, natural disasters, and accidents.

EpiSimS: Epidemiological Simulation Model

EpiSimS is a stochastic, agent-based simulation engine that models the spread of disease in regions, allowing for the assessment of disease prevention, intervention, and response strategies. EpiSimS explicitly represents the daily movements and interactions of synthetic individuals in a city or region, including their interactions with others. It is used as an experimental test bed for analyzing the consequences, feasibility, and effectiveness of response options to disease outbreaks.

EPRAM: Electric Restoration Analysis

Evacuation graphThe EPRAM electric restoration analysis model is used to determine the impact of network-level damage on electric power restoration by analyzing work rates and substation priorities, critical path activities, and time to restore.

FastTrans: Transportation Simulator

FastTrans is a discrete event-based simulator that can simulate and route tens of millions of vehicles on real-world road networks in a fraction of real time. NISAC uses FastTrans to study the implications of loss of infrastructure components in crisis management and for dynamic prioritization studies. Through a detailed representation of the road network, realistic intersection logic, and dynamic computation of routes, the transportation simulator, called FastTrans, is able to simulate road traffic at a high resolution with quick turnaround times.

HCSim: Agent-Based Healthcare Surge Capacity Model

Percentage of occupancy of hospital beds following an IND incident

Demand for critical care beds as a result of seasonal flu for several counties in the U.S. (Click graphic to enlarge)

The HCSim model is used to gauge the impact of mass-casualty incidents on hospital capacity. HCSim was originally developed to model scenarios involving an improvised nuclear device (IND). A version of HCSim was recently adapted to predict the impact on hospital surge capacity from a national influenza pandemic. Results for the two types of applications have been presented at several high-level workshops and forums, where they have been subjected to expert scrutiny.

HURT: Hurricane Relocation Tool

The HURT methodology combines hurricane landfall projections, flood/wind risk, and census data to determine what fraction of the impacted population evacuates, to what shelter type, and where. Information from this tool can guide resource allocation by predicting the increased demands on resources and infrastructure from evacuees. HURT is a fast response tool that can provide information in a few minutes.

Hydra Population and Economic Modeling

EpiSims Model The Hydra integration architecture is an effort to develop a service-oriented architecture for integrated Web-based access of LANL agent-modeling capabilities.The work here includes both semantic and syntactic interoperability issues, optimization, computing performance, human machine interface design, and multi-scale, multi-model simulation and analysis software integration. The Los Alamos Hydra effort is unusual: it is the first to use established industrial software technology to integrate simulation-based analysis and information systems.

Interdependency Environment for Infrastructure Simulation Systems (IEISS)

The primary advantage of the IEISS tool is its ability to model the interdependencies between energy networks and identify how particular physical components of these systems behave during disturbances and contribute to their severity. This allows us to measure the criticality of assets in a consistent manner across energy infrastructures and to assess the potential for feedback between energy transmission systems (cascading failures). It is possible to examine hundreds or thousands of possible scenarios quickly in order to pinpoint what caused the most severe impacts. We can also determine the geographic extent of service outages, including which customers are affected.

The outputs of IEISS are the following: (1) complete state information for all of the energy system components after an incident/disturbance; (2) lists of outaged and damaged components; (3) geographic areas without service from particular infrastructures; and (4) traces of feedback between infrastructures. Information from multiple runs can be combined to rank the criticality of energy assets. IEISS can handle electric power, natural gas, and petroleum transmission systems and train emergency personnel in each of these domains.

Submodels and their relationships in the application of HCSim to IND incidents

Submodels and their relationships in the application of HCSim to IND incidents (Click graphic to enlarge)


LogiSims provides all-purpose decision support for resource allocation and planning prior to, during, and after disasters, both natural and manmade. LogiSims is an integrated software application suite that allows NISAC to assist local, state, regional, and federal officials responsible for disaster planning and response to more effectively use the resources available to them for disaster preparedness and response. LogiSims blends a combination of empirical data and model predictions to enumerate and characterize hazards, determine direct and secondary infrastructure impacts, and optimize resource allocation and distribution, providing valuable input into disaster preparedness and response planning.

SimCore Microagent

Humans interact with physical systems by making decisions based on constraints and opportunities. To model such interactions, a general method to represent human activities is needed. The ability to model these interactions allows prediction of not only likely human response to external events but also the likely infrastructure impacts caused by the shifts in human activity. An obvious example is evacuation after a weapon of mass destruction event, which would cause an immediate increase in demand for transportation infrastructure and a longer-term demand shift once people relocate.

MIITS: Multi-Scale Integrated Information and Telecommunications System

The MIITS module is a scalable, end-to-end simulation environment for representing and analyzing extremely large, complex communication networks of any type, including cellular networks, public switched telephone networks (PSTN), the Internet, and ad hoc mesh networks. MIITS offers network representation in several resolutions, ranging from packet-level simulation to flow-based approaches. The MIITS sub-module Network Generation creates a realistic model of network infrastructures (such as PSTN switches or Internet routers). NISAC’s Fast Response Team routinely uses MIITS to respond to events of national significance including hurricanes, wildfires, and earthquakes.

TransSims: Transportation Analysis Simulation System

FastTrans Graph

TransSims is used to model transportation systems and transportation activities. For metropolitan areas, TRANSIMS-LANL generates a synthetic population with transportation activities and simulates the population's mobility along a road network using various modes of transit. TRANSIMS has the capability to compute activities for a typical workday of all the individuals in a synthetic, statistically accurate model of the entire U.S. population.

WISE: Water Infrastructure Simulation Environment

WISE frameworkThe WISE tool is an analytic framework that evaluates water infrastructure in terms of both infrastructure-specific and interdependency issues. WISE integrates geographic information systems with a wide range of infrastructure analysis tools including industry standard hydraulic simulation engines, e.g., EPANET and the Storm Water Management Model (SWMM) and LANL’s interdependency simulation systems such the ActivitySim and the Interdependent Energy Infrastructure Simulation System (IEISS).

Chicago Water Use

Like other hydraulic simulation engines, IEISS Water provides the ability to simulate the physical behavior of water infrastructures, but more importantly IEISS Water accounts for the nonlinear dynamics within and between water infrastructures and other critical infrastructures. IEISS Water provides capabilities to identify critical components, define system vulnerabilities, simulate scenarios, screen possible interdependency contingencies, and define service areas and outage areas. These infrastructure interdependency capabilities are a significant advance over most water infrastructure simulation systems, making IEISS Water an important tool for homeland security.

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