Overview | People | Sponsors | Publications | Hardware Requirements | Software | Training & Sample Data

*ORA is a dynamic meta-network assessment and analysis tool developed by CASOS at Carnegie Mellon.  It contains hundreds of social network, dynamic network metrics, trail metrics, procedures for grouping nodes, identifying local patterns, comparing and contrasting networks, groups, and individuals from a dynamic meta-network perspective. *ORA has been used to examine how networks change through space and time,  contains procedures for moving back and forth between trail data (e.g. who was where when) and network data (who is connected to whom,  who is connected to where …),  and has a variety of geo-spatial network metrics, and change detection techniques.  *ORA can handle multi-mode, multi-plex, multi-level networks.  It can identify key players, groups and vulnerabilities, model network changes over time, and perform COA analysis.  It has been tested with large networks (106 nodes per 5 entity classes).Distance based, algorithmic, and statistical procedures for comparing and contrasting networks are part of this toolkit.

Based on network theory, social psychology, operations research, and management theory a series of measures of “criticality” have been developed at CMU.  Just as critical path algorithms can be used to locate those tasks that are critical from a project management perspective, the *ORA algorithms can find those people, types of skills or knowledge and tasks that are critical from a performance and information security perspective.  Each of the measures we have developed are calculated by *ORA on the basis of network data like that in the following table. 







Social Network
Who knows who

Knowledge Network
Who knows what

Assignment Network
Who does what



Information Network
What informs what

Needs Network
What knowledge is needed to do the task




Precedence Network
Which task must be done before which


*ORA can be applied both within a traditional organization or on covert networks.

Applying *ORA to an organization, key actors who by virtue of who they know, what they know, and what they are doing are potential risks to the security of a company can be determined.  Applying *ORA to a covert network, key actors whose removal will damage the adaptability or performance of the covert network can be determined.  A critical feature that is currently being built is a “sensitivity” indicator for each threat metric which estimates, given the level of accuracy of the underlying network, how sure we can be that the person identified as key really is key.


A prototype system exists that is set in the corporate context.  It’s focus is on locating potential “hackers” and assessing overall corporate information security risks from a personnel as opposed to technology perspective.  It has been used by students to determine, given hypothetical organizations, the security risks endemic in different organizational designs  and to assess tradeoffs in performance versus security of the corporate intellectual property.

At the CASOS Summer Institute, CASOS Ph.D. students have the chance to display and discuss their projects and work, including work on *ORA. The 2008 CASOS Summer Institute posters are:

"Unsupervised Plan Detection In Maritime GPS Data"
"Extending ORA for Spatial and Temporal Data"
"DNA of Simulated Comm Intercepts: Sample of ORA Capabilities"
"Social Network Change Detection"

ORA Google Group
The ORA Google Group provides a forum for questions, collaborations, and information related to CASOS tools. Please visit this link for instructions on becoming a member of the ORA Google Group: How to Join the ORA Google Group.