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Phys Rev Lett. 2004 Aug 27;93(9):098701. Epub 2004 Aug 26.

Cascade control and defense in complex networks.

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Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems, Nöthnitzer Strasse 38, 01187 Dresden, Germany.


Complex networks with a heterogeneous distribution of loads may undergo a global cascade of overload failures when highly loaded nodes or edges are removed due to attacks or failures. Since a small attack or failure has the potential to trigger a global cascade, a fundamental question regards the possible strategies of defense to prevent the cascade from propagating through the entire network. Here we introduce and investigate a costless strategy of defense based on a selective further removal of nodes and edges, right after the initial attack or failure. This intentional removal of network elements is shown to drastically reduce the size of the cascade.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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