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Enhancing network robustness for malicious attacks

An Zeng, Weiping Liu

posted on 15 March 2012

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In a recent work [Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 108, 3838 (2011)], the authors proposed a simple measure for network robustness under malicious attacks on nodes. With a greedy algorithm, they found the optimal structure with respect to this quantity is an onion structure in which high-degree nodes form a core surrounded by rings of nodes with decreasing degree. However, in real networks the failure can also occur in links such as dysfunctional power cables and blocked airlines. Accordingly, complementary to the node-robustness measurement ($R_{n}$), we propose a link-robustness index ($R_{l}$). We show that solely enhancing $R_{n}$ cannot guarantee the improvement of $R_{l}$. Moreover, the structure of $R_{l}$-optimized network is found to be entirely different from that of onion network. In order to design robust networks resistant to more realistic attack condition, we propose a hybrid greedy algorithm which takes both the $R_{n}$ and $R_{l}$ into account. We validate the robustness of our generated networks against malicious attacks mixed with both nodes and links failure. Finally, some economical constraints for swapping the links in real networks are considered and significant improvement in both aspects of robustness are still achieved.