Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
, 464 (7291), 1025-8

Catastrophic Cascade of Failures in Interdependent Networks

Affiliations

Catastrophic Cascade of Failures in Interdependent Networks

Sergey V Buldyrev et al. Nature.

Abstract

Complex networks have been studied intensively for a decade, but research still focuses on the limited case of a single, non-interacting network. Modern systems are coupled together and therefore should be modelled as interdependent networks. A fundamental property of interdependent networks is that failure of nodes in one network may lead to failure of dependent nodes in other networks. This may happen recursively and can lead to a cascade of failures. In fact, a failure of a very small fraction of nodes in one network may lead to the complete fragmentation of a system of several interdependent networks. A dramatic real-world example of a cascade of failures ('concurrent malfunction') is the electrical blackout that affected much of Italy on 28 September 2003: the shutdown of power stations directly led to the failure of nodes in the Internet communication network, which in turn caused further breakdown of power stations. Here we develop a framework for understanding the robustness of interacting networks subject to such cascading failures. We present exact analytical solutions for the critical fraction of nodes that, on removal, will lead to a failure cascade and to a complete fragmentation of two interdependent networks. Surprisingly, a broader degree distribution increases the vulnerability of interdependent networks to random failure, which is opposite to how a single network behaves. Our findings highlight the need to consider interdependent network properties in designing robust networks.

Comment in

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 264 PubMed Central articles

See all "Cited by" articles

References

    1. Nature. 2005 Jan 27;433(7024):392-5 - PubMed
    1. Science. 1999 Oct 15;286(5439):509-12 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2001 Dec 31;87(27 Pt 1):278701 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev Lett. 2006 Apr 7;96(13):138701 - PubMed
    1. Phys Rev E Stat Nonlin Soft Matter Phys. 2002 Dec;66(6 Pt 2):065102 - PubMed

Publication types

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback