Spatial correlation analysis of cascading failures: Congestions and Blackouts

Li Daqing, Jiang Yinan, Kang Rui, Shlomo Havlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

102 Scopus citations


Cascading failures have become major threats to network robustness due to their potential catastrophic consequences, where local perturbations can induce global propagation of failures. Unlike failures spreading via direct contacts due to structural interdependencies, overload failures usually propagate through collective interactions among system components. Despite the critical need in developing protection or mitigation strategies in networks such as power grids and transportation, the propagation behavior of cascading failures is essentially unknown. Here we find by analyzing our collected data that jams in city traffic and faults in power grid are spatially long-range correlated with correlations decaying slowly with distance. Moreover, we find in the daily traffic, that the correlation length increases dramatically and reaches maximum, when morning or evening rush hour is approaching. Our study can impact all efforts towards improving actively system resilience ranging from evaluation of design schemes, development of protection strategies to implementation of mitigation programs.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5381
Pages (from-to)5381
JournalScientific Reports
StatePublished - 20 Jun 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank the support from National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grants No. 61104144). We thank Wang Y.P., Lu G.Q. and Gao L. for their assistance with the traffic and blackout datasets, respectively. S.H. thanks DTRA, ONR, the LINC and the Multiplex (No. 317532) EU projects, the DFG, and the Israel Science Foundation for support.


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial correlation analysis of cascading failures: Congestions and Blackouts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this