Updated:: Networked Networks Are Prone to Epic Failure
Sunday, 27 March, 2011 Leave a comment
Image: From left to right, a failure cascades through an Italian power network (overlaid on the map) and the internet nodes that depend on it (above the map)./Nature.
Networks that are resilient on their own become fragile and prone to catastrophic failure when connected, suggests a new study with troubling implications for tightly linked modern infrastructures.
Electrical grids, water supplies, computer networks, roads, hospitals, financial systems – all are tied to each other in ways that could make them vulnerable.
“When networks are interdependent, you might think they’re more stable. It might seem like we’re building in redundancy. But it can do the opposite,” said Eugene Stanley, a Boston University physicist and co-author of the study, published April 14 in Nature.