Robustness elasticity in complex networks

Timothy C. Matisziw, Tony H. Grubesic, Junyu Guo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Network robustness refers to a network's resilience to stress or damage. Given that most networks are inherently dynamic, with changing topology, loads, and operational states, their robustness is also likely subject to change. However, in most analyses of network structure, it is assumed that interaction among nodes has no effect on robustness. To investigate the hypothesis that network robustness is not sensitive or elastic to the level of interaction (or flow) among network nodes, this paper explores the impacts of network disruption, namely arc deletion, over a temporal sequence of observed nodal interactions for a large Internet backbone system. In particular, a mathematical programming approach is used to identify exact bounds on robustness to arc deletion for each epoch of nodal interaction. Elasticity of the identified bounds relative to the magnitude of arc deletion is assessed. Results indicate that system robustness can be highly elastic to spatial and temporal variations in nodal interactions within complex systems. Further, the presence of this elasticity provides evidence that a failure to account for nodal interaction can confound characterizations of complex networked systems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere39788
JournalPloS one
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 10 2012
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General


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