Root cause analysis of failures in interdependent power-communication networks

Arun Das, Joydeep Banerjee, Arunabha Sen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

29 Scopus citations


Studies on communication network robustness, though extensive, have primarily focused on standalone networks. However, real world communication networks do not operate in isolation, but instead are part of complex interdependent ecosystems that function together as a comprehensive symbiotic unit. For instance, communication networks of today are highly dependent on the power infrastructure and hence, any efforts to improve the robustness of communication networks must necessarily take into account the vulnerabilities of the power infrastructure and their shared interdependencies. For example, event-induced failures (failures caused by natural disasters or terrorist attacks), on any of these two infrastructures can trigger further failures (triggered failures) into the system through a cascading process due to the interdependencies between the networks. In such an interdependent system where an event induced failure can cascade and result in a much larger combined (event-induced plus triggered) failure, it may be imperative to identify the original event-induced failure for the purpose of post fault diagnostics, or for pre-cascade network strengthening. This ascertainment of event-induced original failure, or the Root Cause of Failure, from combined failures in interdependent Power-Communication networks is the main focus of this paper. We model interdependencies between the two infrastructures using the recently proposed Implicative Interdependency Model. We introduce the Root Cause of Failure problem, and prove it to be NP-Complete. We also provide optimal solutions using ILP, and provide an O(ln(n)) approximation algorithm. Finally, we validate our analytical results through experiments in the power communication network of Maricopa County, Arizona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings - 2014 IEEE Military Communications Conference
Subtitle of host publicationAffordable Mission Success: Meeting the Challenge, MILCOM 2014
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781479967704
StatePublished - Nov 13 2014
Event33rd Annual IEEE Military Communications Conference, MILCOM 2014 - Baltimore, United States
Duration: Oct 6 2014Oct 8 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings - IEEE Military Communications Conference MILCOM


Other33rd Annual IEEE Military Communications Conference, MILCOM 2014
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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