Monday, May 5, 2014

ViRIS: Virtual Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems

Prologue, Rise Of The Resistance:

In the 21st century the rapid evolution and adoption of science and technology created a new tech based economy which allowed for soaring profits in the private sector.  Technology corporations began to thrive and became the only financially viable entities.  Countries began to fail and were forced to sell land and resources to the corporations to stay solvent.  In 2087 countries as we know it were dissolved which made these corporations the new world powers. 

This style of government was a mixture of communism and capitalism.  A free world economy but controlled and directed by a few.  These large corporations were the tops in every major industry.  They formed “The Alliance”.  A corporate conglomeration that brought peace to the world, through the tight control over the worlds resources.  They controlled every job available in the civilized world.  Those who chose to live outside of their control were forced to live in a world with out technology, medicine, agriculture and manufacturing.  They lived an archaic life, in a futuristic world.

With the tight grip on the world’s resources, The Alliance was able to make huge strides in technology.  Advanced Artificial Intelligence, Quantum Computing and Communications, Nanoscale manufacturing and sub atomic particle manipulation all became possible in just a few short years after the Alliance was formed.  These technologies lead to the exploration of the known universe as well as the expansion of The Alliance beyond Earth.

The Alliance began to push ubiquitous/pervasive computing and ambient intelligence connecting everything and everyone to their technology, forming massive computer networks that allowed for collecting, sharing and dissemination of information.  This was meant to solidify The Alliance’s control of the world by increasing its dependence on technology, but this was the singular event that would lead to rise of the only group to battle the Alliance and its grip on humanity.

This group was the last hope, the last opportunity to break the tight grip the Alliance had on the world.  They became know as the Omega Resistance (OR).

No one knows who makes up the OR, not even its own members.  It is a network of computer savvy hackers that have infiltrated The Alliance core networks and used its push for pervasive computing against them. OR did not have the access to large server farms or the hardware backend that The Alliance maintained, and had no way of creating or purchasing such technology due to The Alliances control on the market.  But with the connection of all electronic devices to the Internet, dubbed the Internet of Things (IoT),  and The Alliances main network, they realized they didn’t need standalone systems, instead OR embedded small pieces of code over hundreds of thousands of computing devices.  At any given moment there were plenty of devices online that held small pieces of OR code, that allowed for them to develop a virtual cloud based distributed cluster network.  ORs network lived inside of The Alliances very own network, it was a virus that effected well over 50% of all connected machines. 
The premise of ORs network was built around Swarm technology developed years earlier.  Their idea was instead of a single complex machine/algorithm/application,  they combined 100’s or 1,000’s of small simple machines/algorithms/applications that could be combined to perform the task of a single complex system.  This allowed for built in redundancy, as if one node in the Swarm was to fail, there were plenty of others that could easily pick up the required task.  OR took every need of a complex network and broke it down to simple individual nodes.  These nodes were then distributed across The Alliances network undetected, as each node individually was harmless to the network.   Once distributed OR could then dynamically connect to infected machines and form a powerful computing network on the fly, and subsequently shut down the network if The Alliance got to close.

ViRIS, A New Beginning:

With this new network capability OR began to go on the offensive.  Building on the same techniques they had seen in previous cyber attacks, they devised an algorithm similar to a "fork bomb" that could infiltrate a machine and begin replicating itself.  This process would quickly overload the device and cause the system to shut down.  Upon rebooting ORs code would then control the device by disrupting its communication with the Alliance network and re-routing all traffic through its own system.  This then allowed OR to repurpose the device and use it to support its own needs.  This new algorithm became know at ViRIS: Virtual Reconfigurable Intelligent Systems.

This new guerrilla warfare tactic gave OR a chance, but the Alliance was quick to react.  The Alliance was unable to solve this "Zero Day Attack" OR used in accessing their devices, so the implemented a new protocol that erased all operational data, instructions and algorithms on a machine once it  lost connection to Alliance's network.  This gave OR access to raw hardware devices they had infected with ViRIS, but they were not capable of performing any complex or routine activities without further programming and instruction.

Now with a way to procure equipment and facilities, ORs new mission was to train these autonomous machines to do their bidding.  OR operatives began using there massive distributed computing infrastructure to create a simulation environment where they could experiment with various Machine Learning algorithms and techniques, such as Genetic Algorithms, Artificial Neural Networks, Particle Swarm Optimization, Computer Vision, etc.  Once they were able to train a machine to perform a task it was added to ViRIS and upon reboot this new algorithm was loaded into the machine.

The Resistance has to work quickly, as the Alliance is furiously trying to shut down the Zero Day vulnerability being exploited.  Once they lose this opportunity they may never again regain the ability to remotely take over Alliance equipment.


ViRIS takes a new twist on Real Time Strategy (RTS) gaming.  Instead of micro controlling your units they are autonomous controlled units you have trained via various machine learning algorithms.

You have joined Omega Resistance and were given various goals to complete and must train your army of ViRIS infected devices to complete your mission.  You will create mock scenarios in the virtual sandbox area and train your robots for the various task required to successfully complete the mission assigned.  You can utilize one of the many algorithms currently loaded in ViRIS, create your own via the ViRIS interface,  or purchase them through the black market.  You can connect multiple computing devices (phones, tablets, laptops, etc) to increase the size of ORs distributed network and thereby train  your devices faster.

Once you feel training is complete and are ready for the task, you carry out your mission by infecting Alliances devices and watching how well your training preforms.  To keep your location safe, after launching ViRIS you sever all communication with the devices you infect.  You can now only watch and see if you have trained them well enough to accomplish the orders you were given.

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