Attack vulnerability of scale-free networks due to cascading breakdown

Liang Zhao, Kwangho Park, Ying-Cheng Lai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

269 Citations (Scopus)


The possibility that a complex network can be brought down by attack on a single or a very few nodes through the process of cascading failures is of significant concern. Here we investigate a recent model for cascading failures in complex networks and uncover a phase-transition phenomenon in terms of the key parameter characterizing the node capacity. For parameter value below the phase-transition point, cascading failures can cause the network to disintegrate almost entirely. We obtain a theoretical estimate for the phase-transition point and provide numerical support.

Original languageEnglish
Article number035101
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2004


  • complex networks
  • internet


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