Background and Scope

Critical Infrastructure Protection (CIP) has recently become a popular area of research interest. An important prerequisite in CIP is to define what is meant by critical, and to do this objectively and automatically. In an on-line consultation we held in early 2002, many respondents cited definition and identification of Critical Transportation Infrastructure (CTI) as a high research priority.

There are many classes of infrastructure — a background page on CIP enumerates these. Our focus is on transportation infrastructure, recognizing that algorithmically, methods developed for one class of infrastructure may be adaptable to another. There is also a focus on spatial attributes of the transportation system, i.e. geographic and topological characteristics of the transportation links and the places (nodes) served by them, and an emphasis on spatial technologies such as remote sensing and GIS. Transportation infrastructure includes for our purposes
This meeting brings together a small group (about 35) of public/private sector experts and academics.  Over two days of presentations, demonstrations and discussions, we shall explore a variety of perspectives, with the aims of

 (a) broadening participants' appreciation of the many facets of the issue,
 (b) stimulating cross-cutting research, and
 (c) synthesizing problem/research approaches into a framework.

Following the meeting we will publish a web-based and/or printed compilation of papers. Three speakers will be selected for a special CTI-CIP session of the Transportation Research Board (TRB) annual meeting in Washington DC, 2004 January 11-15.

Topics of primary interest

  • Formal definitions of risk, threat, vulnerability, criticality, etc, as they relate to CTI
  • Dependencies in CTI, e.g. how telecommunications impacts transportation or vice versa
  • Network analysis algorithms
  • Data required to support CTI analysis; data quality and sensitivity analysis (i.e. consequences of error), sources of data.
Secondary topics
  • The downstream issue: measures taken to protect CTI; costs and benefits of the measures
  • Sensor systems to detect status anomalies

The meeting is sponsored by the NCRST-Infrastructure consortium and the Vehicle Intelligence and Transportation Analysis Laboratory (VITAL) at NCGIA, University of California, Santa Barbara, which are funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation (Research and Special Programs Administration), NASA Applications DivisionESRI and the California Department of Transportation (Traffic Operations).  CTI and other research performed under this project can be found at the CIP and Research pages.

Presentation Format

We invite scientific papers as well as system demonstrations, that address and enhance understanding of the above topics.  Demonstrations of a commercial nature are welcome, on condition that they are original in content, and presentors must be prepared to discuss details of methodology and algorithms, not just to advertize their offerings. This must be clear from the abstract and paper. Note that commercially oriented presentations are not eligible for the TRB special session.

Program Committee

Rick Church, UC Santa Barbara
Bruce Ralston, University of Tennessee
Jeff Western, Director of Infrastructure Security, Wisconsin DOT
Benjamin Zhan, Texas State University-San Marcos


Val Noronha < >
Phone +1.805.893.8992