ssn-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

ssn-Silicon Valley Campus - Carnegie Mellon University

Survivable Social Networks (SSN)


As a direct consequence of the Loma Prieta earthquake in 1989, 154 of 160 telephone central offices in Northern California lost primary power - and some even lost backup power.  Today's voice and data networks are even more susceptible to disruption caused by power outages. Smaller incidents, such as the San Bruno fire, also severely impacted cell phone communications. Since that time, our society has only become more dependent on communications infrastructure, and that infrastructure has become, arguably, less robust.  Also since that time, we've witnessed the emergence of social networking tools, fueled by broadly available internet service.  We have seen how social networks have been useful in emergency situations.  But when the underlying communications infrastructure fails, how will social networks help?

The SSN project team at CMU-SV is developing a system that can be deployed in and by neighborhoods to provide flexible and powerful social networking tools, accessible via smartphones, without dependence on public telecommunications or Internet infrastructures.  The SSN offers the promise of a familiar-feeling, easily used, training-less system for disseminating information in the midst of a disaster to and between community members, augmenting existing tools and systems that will be available to relief agencies. This will be key part of a larger Silicon Valley Resilient Network project.

The SSN prototype will be demonstrated by the students as a key part of the Sunday Community/Agency Interoperability Event. On Monday; the student team will report on what they learned from the event as an exercise.


Jonida "Jona" Cali is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology with a focus on Software Management. Before joining Carnegie Mellon University, she gained 4 years of valuable experience in information intensive software projects and has participated in more than 10 European projects focusing on society and third world countries. During her previous roles she gained experience in knowledge management and information architecture, user experience, and software management. Last summer she interned with VMware where she focused in improving user experience on product lines of the company. Some of her distinctions include being awarded a full-tuition INI-Tara Darbyshire scholarship for attending Carnegie Mellon University and also being member of the Executive Women’s Forum (USA). Finally, in her spare time she enjoys playing beach volleyball and open water sailing.

Ryan Caney is a graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University, pursuing a master’s degree in Information Technology ...

Stu Kennedy is in his final semester at CMU-SV studying Information Security at Carnegie Mellon's Information Networking Institute. As a Scholarship for Service recipient, he is interested in securing IT infrastructure to further the public good. Along with his current work on the Survivable Social Network, Stu has researched automated Malware Analysis at the Software Engineering Institute and developed a network monitoring framework for the Federal Reserve.

Faculty Advisor: Bob Iannucci, PhD is Director of the CyLab Mobility Research Center at Carnegie Mellon University Silicon Valley and is known for leading both software and systems research in scalable and mobile computing. For more details, see his bio in the description of the Community/Agency Interoperability Event