Operational Perspectives into the Resilience of the U.S. Air Transportation Network against Intelligent Attacks

Karl H. Thompson, Huy T. Tran

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Protecting critical infrastructures has been deemed a natural security imperative by the U.S. Government for the past 20 years. The resilience of transportation infrastructures is of particular importance, as they serve a crucial rule in economic development and citizen mobility throughout the world. This paper presents a defender-attacker-defender model to analyze the potential impacts of intelligent attacks and worst case disruptions on the U.S. air transportation network, as well as possible protection steps that could be taken to minimize the negative outcomes of such disruptions. Furthermore, to analyze the effects of intermodal connections on the resilience of the air network, a second layer representing a hypothetical bus network is added to the model and studied. We use these models, supported by publicly available data, to identify routes likely to be attacked by intelligent adversaries and those critical to the resilient operation of the air network in such scenarios. We also demonstrate the potential benefits of intermodal linkages toward maintaining network operations and identify promising research directions for this type of integrated and intelligent transportation system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number8691692
Pages (from-to)1503-1513
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Transportation
  • air
  • attacker
  • defender
  • intelligent
  • intermodal
  • multimodal
  • networks
  • optimization
  • resilience

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications


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