Masters Theses

Keywords and Phrases

Automation; Coevolution; Cyber Security; Experiment framework; Simulation; Software agent


"Cyber security is increasingly a challenge for organizations everywhere. Defense systems that require less expert knowledge and can adapt quickly to threats are strongly needed to combat the rise of cyber attacks. Computational intelligence techniques can be used to rapidly explore potential solutions while searching in a way that is unaffected by human bias.

Several architectures have been created for developing and testing systems used in network security, but most are meant to provide a platform for running cyber security experiments as opposed to automating experiment processes. In the first paper, we propose a framework termed Distributed Cyber Security Automation Framework for Experiments (DCAFE) that enables experiment automation and control in a distributed environment.

Predictive analysis of adversaries is another thorny issue in cyber security. Game theory can be used to mathematically analyze adversary models, but its scalability limitations restrict its use. Computational game theory allows us to scale classical game theory to larger, more complex systems. In the second paper, we propose a framework termed Coevolutionary Agent-based Network Defense Lightweight Event System (CANDLES) that can coevolve attacker and defender agent strategies and capabilities and evaluate potential solutions with a custom network defense simulation.

The third paper is a continuation of the CANDLES project in which we rewrote key parts of the framework. Attackers and defenders have been redesigned to evolve pure strategy, and a new network security simulation is devised which specifies network architecture and adds a temporal aspect. We also add a hill climber algorithm to evaluate the search space and justify the use of a coevolutionary algorithm"--Abstract, page iv.


Tauritz, Daniel R.

Committee Member(s)

Chellappan, Sriram
Kent, Alexander D.


Computer Science

Degree Name

M.S. in Computer Science


Los Alamos National Laboratory
Missouri University of Science and Technology. Intelligent Systems Center


Two organizations provided funding for this research: Los Alamos National Laboratory via the Cyber Security Sciences Institute under subcontract 259565 and the Missouri S&T Intelligent Systems Center

Research Center/Lab(s)

Intelligent Systems Center


Missouri University of Science and Technology

Publication Date

Fall 2015

Journal article titles appearing in thesis/dissertation

  • DCAFE: A distributed cyber security automation framework for experiments
  • Coevolutionary agent-based network defense lightweight event system (CANDLES)
  • CANDLES V2: A framework for coevolving attacker and defender strategies for enterprise computer networks


xiii, 81 pages

Note about bibliography

Includes bibliographical references.


© 2015 George Daniel Rush, All rights reserved.

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access

File Type




Subject Headings

Cyber intelligence (Computer security)
Computer security -- Automation
Computational intelligence
Intelligent agents (Computer software)

Thesis Number

T 10798

Electronic OCLC #