Abstract: Increased interconnection between critical infrastructure networks, such as electric power and communications systems, has important implications for infrastructure reliability and security. Others have shown that increased coupling between networks that are vulnerable to internetwork cascading failures can increase vulnerability. However, the mechanisms of cascading in these models differ from those in real systems and such models disregard new functions enabled by coupling, such as intelligent control during a cascade. This paper compares the robustness of simple topological network models to models that more accurately reflect the dynamics of cascading in a particular case of coupled infrastructures. First, we compare a topological contagion model to a power grid model. Second, we compare a percolation model of internetwork cascading to three models of interdependent power-communication systems. In both comparisons, the more detailed models suggest substantially different conclusions, relative to the simpler topological models. In all but the most extreme case, our model of a “smart” power network coupled to a communication system suggests that increased power-communication coupling decreases vulnerability, in contrast to the percolation model. Together, these results suggest that robustness can be enhanced by interconnecting networks with complementary capabilities if modes of internetwork failure propagation are constrained.
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Bongard's work focuses on understanding the general nature of cognition, regardless of whether it is found in humans, animals or robots. This unique approach focuses on the role that morphology and evolution plays in cognition. Addressing these questions has taken him into the fields of biology, psychology, engineering and computer science.
Danforth is an applied mathematician interested in modeling a variety of physical, biological, and social phenomenon. He has applied principles of chaos theory to improve weather forecasts as a member of the Mathematics and Climate Research Network, and developed a real-time remote sensor of global happiness using messages from Twitter: the Hedonometer. Danforth co-runs the Computational Story Lab with Peter Dodds, and helps run UVM's reading group on complexity.
Laurent studies the interaction of structure and dynamics. His research involves network theory, statistical physics and nonlinear dynamics along with their applications in epidemiology, ecology, biology, and sociology. Recent projects include comparing complex networks of different nature, the coevolution of human behavior and infectious diseases, understanding the role of forest shape in determining stability of tropical forests, as well as the impact of echo chambers in political discussions.
Hines' work broadly focuses on finding ways to make electric energy more reliable, more affordable, with less environmental impact. Particular topics of interest include understanding the mechanisms by which small problems in the power grid become large blackouts, identifying and mitigating the stresses caused by large amounts of electric vehicle charging, and quantifying the impact of high penetrations of wind/solar on electricity systems.
Bagrow's interests include: Complex Networks (community detection, social modeling and human dynamics, statistical phenomena, graph similarity and isomorphism), Statistical Physics (non-equilibrium methods, phase transitions, percolation, interacting particle systems, spin glasses), and Optimization(glassy techniques such as simulated/quantum annealing, (non-gradient) minimization of noisy objective functions).