Mitigation of malicious attacks on networks

Christian M. Schneider, André A. Moreira, José S. Andrade, Shlomo Havlin, Hans J. Herrmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

775 Scopus citations


Terrorist attacks on transportation networks have traumatized modern societies. With a single blast, it has become possible to paralyze airline traffic, electric power supply, ground transportation or Internet communication. How and at which cost can one restructure the network such that it will become more robust against a malicious attack? We introduce a new measure for robustness and use it to devise a method to mitigate economically and efficiently this risk. We demonstrate its efficiency on the European electricity system and on the Internet as well as on complex networks models. We show that with small changes in the network structure (low cost) the robustness of diverse networks can be improved dramatically whereas their functionality remains unchanged. Our results are useful not only for improving significantly with low cost the robustness of existing infrastructures but also for designing economically robust network systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3838-3841
Number of pages4
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Issue number10
StatePublished - 8 Mar 2011


FundersFunder number
Seventh Framework Programme231807


    • Percolation
    • Power grid


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