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Christopher Hannon, Illinois Institute of Technology, Jiaqi Yan, Illinois Institute of Tecnology, Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology.  2016.  DSSnet: A Smart Grid Modeling Platform Combining Electrical Power Distribution System Simulation and Software Defined Networking Emulation. ACM SIGSIM Conference on Principles of Advanced Discrete Simulation.

The successful operations of modern power grids are highly dependent on a reliable and ecient underlying communication network. Researchers and utilities have started to explore the opportunities and challenges of applying the emerging software-de ned networking (SDN) technology to enhance eciency and resilience of the Smart Grid. This trend calls for a simulation-based platform that provides sufcient exibility and controllability for evaluating network application designs, and facilitating the transitions from inhouse research ideas to real productions. In this paper, we present DSSnet, a hybrid testing platform that combines a power distribution system simulator with an SDN emulator to support high delity analysis of communication network applications and their impacts on the power systems. Our contributions lay in the design of a virtual time system with the tight controllability on the execution of the emulation system, i.e., pausing and resuming any speci ed container processes in the perception of their own virtual clocks, with little overhead scaling to 500 emulated hosts with an average of 70 ms overhead; and also lay in the ecient synchronization of the two sub-systems based on the virtual time. We evaluate the system performance of DSSnet, and also demonstrate the usability through a case study by evaluating a load shifting algorithm.

Christopher Hannon, Illinois Institute of Technology, Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chen Chen, Argonne National Laboratory, Jianhui Wang, Argonne National Laboratory.  2017.  Ultimate Forwarding Resilience in OpenFlow Networks. ACM International Workshop on Security in Software Defined Networks & Network Function Virtualization (SDN-NFV Security 2017).

Software defined networking is a rapidly expanding networking paradigm that aims to separate the control logic from the forwarding devices. Through centralized control, network operators are able to deploy and manage more efficient forwarding strategies. Traditionally, when the network undergoes a change through maintenance, failure, or cyber attack, the centralized controller processes these events and deploys new forwarding rules reactively. This work provides a strategy that does not require a controller in order to maintain connectivity while only using features within the existing OpenFlow protocol version 1.3 or greater. In this paper we illustrate why forwarding resiliency is desired in OpenFlow networks and provide an algorithm that computes the flow entries required to achieve maximal forwarding resiliency in presence of both multiple link and controller failures on any arbitrary network.

Christopher Hannon, Illinois Institute of Technology, Jiaqi Yan, Illinois Institute of Technology, Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chen Chen, Argonne National Laboratory, Jianhui Wang, Argonne National Laboratory.  2018.  Combining Simulation and Emulation Systems for Smart Grid Planning and Evaluation. CM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation (TOMACS) – Special Issue on PADS. 28(4)

Software-defined networking (SDN) enables efficient networkmanagement. As the technology matures, utilities are looking to integrate those benefits to their operations technology (OT) networks. To help the community to better understand and evaluate the effects of such integration, we develop DSSnet, a testing platform that combines a power distribution system simulator and an SDN-based network emulator for smart grid planning and evaluation. DSSnet relies on a container-based virtual time system to achieve efficient synchronization between the simulation and emulation systems. To enhance the system scalability and usability, we extend DSSnet to support a distributed controller environment. To enhance system fidelity, we extend the virtual time system to support kernel-based switches. We also evaluate the system performance of DSSnet and demonstrate the usability of DSSnet with a resilient demand response application case study.

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Dong Jin, Illinois Institute of Technology, Zhiyi Li, Illinois Institute of Technology, Christopher Hannon, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chen Chen, Argonne National Laboratory, Jianhui Wang, Argonne National Laboratory, Mohammad Shahidehpour, Illinois Institute of Technology, Cheol Won Lee, National Research Institute, South Korea.  2017.  Toward a Cyber Resilient and Secure Microgrid Using Software-Defined Networking. IEEE Transactions on Smart Grid. 8(5)

To build a resilient and secure microgrid in the face of growing cyber-attacks and cyber-mistakes, we present a software-defined networking (SDN)-based communication network architecture for microgrid operations. We leverage the global visibility, direct networking controllability, and programmability offered by SDN to investigate multiple security applications, including self-healing communication network management, real-time and uncertainty-aware communication network verification, and specification-based intrusion detection. We also expand a novel cyber-physical testing and evaluation platform that combines a power distribution system simulator (for microgrid energy services) and an SDN emulator with a distributed control environment (for microgrid communications). Experimental results demonstrate that the SDN-based communication architecture and applications can significantly enhance the resilience and security of microgrid operations against the realization of various cyber threats.