The goal of VASA (Visual Analytics for Security Applications) is to apply visual analytics to disaster prevention and crisis response, with a focus on critical infrastructures in logistics, transportation, food safety, digital networks and power grids at the national levels. The connectedness and dependency of these critical infrastructures make the problem of monitoring and understanding their functioning and dependencies one of the most complex analytical tasks faced by our societies. Their proper functioning is crucial for the well-being of the population, economic viability, and most of all to prevent loss of life.
Visual analytics is the science of analytical reasoning facilitated by interactive visual interfaces. It provides technology that combines the strengths of human and electronic data processing enabling a semi-automated analytical process, where humans and machines cooperate using their respective distinct capabilities. The VASA project proposes the application of visual analytics to the problems of monitoring and understanding critical infrastructures, cascading infrastructure effects, and to the management of crisis response. While, for example, there exist detailed models for individual types of infrastructures such as electric power grids, these do not encompass the various interconnections and interdependencies one needs to be aware of to make risk estimation decisions and for performing operational risk management. What is therefore required is a mechanism for conjoining the information available for individual infrastructure sectors and providing unified views and analytical tools for planning and decision support.
VASA is conceived as a three-year project and is realized by a consortium of research, industrial, and public partners from Germany.