Turning community site visitors knowledge into music

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Cybersecurity analysts cope with an infinite quantity of knowledge, particularly when monitoring community site visitors. If one have been to print the info in textual content type, a single day’s value of community site visitors could also be akin to a thick phonebook. In different phrases, detecting an abnormality is like discovering a needle in a haystack.

“It is an ocean of knowledge,” says Yang Cai, a senior programs scientist in CyLab. “The essential patterns we have to see grow to be buried by a whole lot of trivial or regular patterns.”

Cai has been working for years to give you methods to make abnormalities in community site visitors simpler to identify. A couple of years in the past, he and his analysis group developed an information visualization device that allowed one to see community site visitors patterns, and now he has developed a option to hear them.

In a brand new research offered this week on the Convention on Utilized Human Elements and Ergonomics, Cai and two co-authors present how cybersecurity knowledge might be heard within the type of music. When there is a change within the community site visitors, there’s a change within the music.

“We wished to articulate regular and irregular patterns via music,” Cai says. “The method of sonification—utilizing audio to perceptualize knowledge—is just not new, however sonification to make knowledge extra interesting to the human ear is.”

The researchers experimented with a number of completely different “sound mapping” algorithms, reworking numeral datasets into music with varied melodies, harmonies, time signatures, and tempos. For instance, the researchers assigned particular notes to the ten digits that make up any quantity present in knowledge: 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9. To symbolize the third and fourth digits of the mathematical fixed Pi—4 and 1—they modified the time signature of 1 measure to 4/4 and the next measure to 1/4.

Whereas this all could sound pretty difficult, one would not must be a educated musician to have the ability to hear these adjustments within the music, the researchers discovered. The crew created music utilizing community site visitors knowledge from an actual malware distribution community and offered the music to non-musicians. They discovered that non-musicians have been capable of precisely acknowledge adjustments in pitch when performed on completely different devices.

“We aren’t solely making music, however turning summary knowledge into one thing that people can course of,” the authors write of their research.

Cai says his imaginative and prescient is that sometime, an analyst will have the ability to discover cybersecurity knowledge with digital actuality goggles presenting the visualization of the community area. When the analyst strikes nearer to a person knowledge level, or a cluster of knowledge, music representing that knowledge would steadily grow to be extra audible.

“The thought is to make use of all of people’ sensory channels to discover this cyber analytical area,” Cai says.

Co-authors Jakub Polaczyk (left) and Katelyn Croft (proper) have been each college students of Cai’s and are alumni of Carnegie Mellon’s School of Tremendous Arts.

Whereas Cai himself is just not a educated musician, his two co-authors on the research are. Jakub Polaczyk and Katelyn Croft have been as soon as college students in Carnegie Mellon College’s School of Tremendous Arts. Polaczyk obtained his Artist Diploma in Composition in 2013 and is at present an award-winning composer primarily based in New York Metropolis. Croft obtained her grasp’s diploma in harp efficiency in 2020 and is at present in Taiwan finding out the affect of Western music on Asian music.

Earlier than graduating in 2020, Croft labored in Cai’s lab on a digital recital challenge. Polaczyk took Cai’s College-wide course, “Creativity,” in 2011 and the 2 have collaborated ever since.

“It has been a really good collaboration,” Cai says. “This type of cross-disciplinary collaboration actually exemplifies CMU’s strengths.”


CyLab researchers create community site visitors visualization device to assist thwart cyber assaults


Extra data:
Jakub Polaczyk et al, Compositional Sonification of Cybersecurity Knowledge in a Baroque Type, Advances in Synthetic Intelligence, Software program and Methods Engineering (2021). DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-80624-8_38

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Carnegie Mellon College


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