SFINA has been used to model, prototype and simulate mechanisms that improve the reliability and repairability of several complex systems such as the following:
Power Grids undergoing Cascading Failures
Cascading failures in the transmission systems of power grids can cause massive social disruption and unrest, especially when their cause may be a result of targeted cyber attacks. Their cost can be supreme for a society to afford, for instance, a 2003 power blackout in Canada has estimated costs of $4-$10 billions, with 50 millions of people left without electricity for up to 4 days. Cascading failures are often a result of non-linear dynamics in which the interplay between structural and functional elements of a network is highly complex and challenging to measure. Typically a cascading failure is a result of a failing power line that results in redistribution of power flows to neighboring paraller lines that in turn become overlaoded and failing.
SFINA provides a broad support for studying cascading faulures in power grids by integrating both DC and AC power flow analysis from two state-of-the-art backends of power systems: (i) MATPOWER and (ii) InterPSS. By using SFINA utilities, cascading failures can be simulated along with mechanisms for preventing or mitigating cascading failures, for instance using coordinating smart transformers for self-repairable smart grids against cascading failures. More infromation is available here. SFINA provides several utilities such as topological and flow metrics as well as network visualizations. Controling cascading failures among inter-dependent power grids, i.e. reliable exchange of power flows among national grids, is also a field of study covered by SFINA.
Traffic Congestion Control
The increasing population of cities poses challenges to how infrastructures such as the transportation systems can be managed, for instance, reducing traffic jams. The option to use sharing vehicles as well as self-driving cars in the future raises new challanges in traffic control. Expanding road infrastructure is highly costly and often not an option in densely populated areas. Traffic congestions can accummulate and jams cascade over the road network.
The SFINA framework supports the study of this application domain by integrating the MATSim framework for multi-agent transport simulation. More information is available here. SFINA manages the macroscopic topology and traffic flows while it translates this high level model to the microscopic MATSim agent-based model. Mechanisms can be deviced and simulated that regulate online traffic flows by coordination of traffic lights or rerouting of traffic flows. Adjustments in the road infrastructure can also be easily evaluated as well by testing different network topologies.
Disaster and Disease Spread
SFINA can also be used to study more theoretical models of disaster and disease spread. These models can be prototyped as modular backends that can be pluged in to SFINA to test different scenarios, for instance immunization, recovery strategies, protection polices as well as scheduling of repair actions from damages.
SFINA is generic and by design capable of supporting a broad range of application domains. Any application scenario that involves a network with flows or some exchange of resources can be studied in SFINA. For instance, water and gas networks, financial networks, pedestrian flows, air traffic or migration flows are all relevant scenarios for modeling, prototyping and simulation using SFINA. The SFINA manual provides further technical information about how to prototype a SFINA application.