Sonification of a Network's Self-Organized Criticality for Real-time Situational Awareness

Paul Vickers, Christopher Laing, Tom Fairfax

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)
12 Downloads (Pure)


Communication networks involve the transmission and reception of large volumes of data. Research indicates that network traffic volumes will continue to increase. These traffic volumes will be unprecedented and the behaviour of global information infrastructures when dealing with these data volumes is unknown. It has been shown that complex systems (including computer networks) exhibit self organized criticality under certain conditions. Given the possibility in such systems of a sudden and spontaneous system reset the development of techniques to inform system administrators of this behavior could be beneficial. This article focuses on the combination of two dissimilar research concepts, namely sonification (a form of auditory display) and self organized criticality (SOC). A system is described that sonifies in real time an information infrastructure's self organized criticality to alert the network administrators of both normal and abnormal network traffic and operation. It is shown how the system makes changes in a system's SOC readily perceptible. Implications for how such a system may support real-time situational awareness and post-hoc incident analysis are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-24
Early online date11 May 2016
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017


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