Transient dynamics increasing network vulnerability to cascading failures

Phys Rev Lett. 2008 May 30;100(21):218701. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.100.218701. Epub 2008 May 28.


We study cascading failures in networks using a dynamical flow model based on simple conservation and distribution laws. It is found that considering the flow dynamics may imply reduced network robustness compared to previous static overload failure models. This is due to the transient oscillations or overshooting in the loads, when the flow dynamics adjusts to the new (remaining) network structure. The robustness of networks showing cascading failures is generally given by a complex interplay between the network topology and flow dynamics.