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      Resilience of the Internet to random breakdowns

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          Abstract

          A common property of many large networks, including the Internet, is that the connectivity of the various nodes follows a scale-free power-law distribution, P(k)=ck^-a. We study the stability of such networks with respect to crashes, such as random removal of sites. Our approach, based on percolation theory, leads to a general condition for the critical fraction of nodes, p_c, that need to be removed before the network disintegrates. We show that for a<=3 the transition never takes place, unless the network is finite. In the special case of the Internet (a=2.5), we find that it is impressively robust, where p_c is approximately 0.99.

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          Emergence of scaling in random networks

          Systems as diverse as genetic networks or the world wide web are best described as networks with complex topology. A common property of many large networks is that the vertex connectivities follow a scale-free power-law distribution. This feature is found to be a consequence of the two generic mechanisms that networks expand continuously by the addition of new vertices, and new vertices attach preferentially to already well connected sites. A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, indicating that the development of large networks is governed by robust self-organizing phenomena that go beyond the particulars of the individual systems.
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            Error and attack tolerance of complex networks

            Many complex systems, such as communication networks, display a surprising degree of robustness: while key components regularly malfunction, local failures rarely lead to the loss of the global information-carrying ability of the network. The stability of these complex systems is often attributed to the redundant wiring of the functional web defined by the systems' components. In this paper we demonstrate that error tolerance is not shared by all redundant systems, but it is displayed only by a class of inhomogeneously wired networks, called scale-free networks. We find that scale-free networks, describing a number of systems, such as the World Wide Web, Internet, social networks or a cell, display an unexpected degree of robustness, the ability of their nodes to communicate being unaffected by even unrealistically high failure rates. However, error tolerance comes at a high price: these networks are extremely vulnerable to attacks, i.e. to the selection and removal of a few nodes that play the most important role in assuring the network's connectivity.
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              A critical point for random graphs with a given degree sequence

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                04 July 2000
                2000-10-19
                Article
                10.1103/PhysRevLett.85.4626
                cond-mat/0007048
                Custom metadata
                Phys. Rev. Lett 85, 4626 (2000)
                latex, 3 pages, 1 figure (eps), explanations added, Phys. Rev. Lett., in press
                cond-mat.dis-nn

                Theoretical physics

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