Onion-like network topology enhances robustness against malicious attacks

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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

150 Scopus citations


We develop a method to generate robust networks against malicious attacks, as well as to substantially improve the robustness of a given network by swapping edges and keeping the degree distribution fixed. The method, based on persistence of the size of the largest cluster during attacks, was applied to several types of networks with broad degree distributions, including a real network-the Internet. We find that our method can improve the robustness significantly. Our results show that robust networks have a novel 'onion-like' topology consisting of a core of highly connected nodes hierarchically surrounded by rings of nodes with decreasing degree.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberP01027
JournalJournal of Statistical Mechanics: Theory and Experiment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2011


  • Communication
  • Network dynamics
  • Network reconstruction
  • Robust and stochastic optimization
  • Supply and information networks


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