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NetworksAn Introduction$
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Mark Newman

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199206650

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199206650.001.0001

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Percolation and network resilience

Percolation and network resilience

A discussion of one of the simplest of processes taking place on networks, percolation, and its use as a model of network resilience

(p.591) Chapter 16 Percolation and network resilience

M. E. J. Newman

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines one of the simplest network processes, which is percolation. This leads to an elegant theory concerning the robustness of networked systems to the failure of their components. Imagine taking a network and removing some fraction of its vertices, along with the edges connected to those vertices. This process is called percolation (or, more precisely, site percolation), and can be used as a model of a variety of real-world phenomena. The failure of routers on the Internet, for instance, can be formally represented by removing the corresponding vertices and their attached edges from a network representation of the Internet. In fact, about 3% of the routers on the Internet are non-functional for one reason or another at any one time, and it is a question of some practical interest what effect this will have on the performance of the network. The theory of percolation processes goes some way to getting the answer to this question. Exercises are provided at the end of the chapter.

Keywords:   network processes, percolation, vertices removal, computer algorithm, network systems

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