Accession Number:



Structural and dynamical transitions in networks of networks

Descriptive Note:

[Technical Report, Final Report]

Corporate Author:

Indiana University at Bloomington

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:


Pagination or Media Count:



Our world is linked by a complex mesh of networks where information, people and goods flow. These networks do not exist in isolation, but they depend one on the other see Figure 1. Interdependencies are essential for the function of the individual networks, but they may alsocause phenomena that would be absent if networks were in isolation. For example, the presence of interdependencies among power grids and communication networks dramatically augment their vulnerability, by boosting the potential for cascading failures due to the amplification of small-scale initial failures to catastrophic proportions. The urgency of this issue was stressed already in 1996 by the Presidents Commission on Critical Infrastructure Protection, but recent events, such as the 911 terrorist attack, the 2003 Northeast power blackout, and the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricane, indeed highlighted that the infrastructural system is constantly risk of catastrophic failures.Similarly, the 2008 crisis demonstrated how failures can propagate across interconnected financial sectors and disrupt the stability of global economy. Given the current inability to prevent such catastrophic events, there is a urgent need to better understand the role of interdependencies among real networks, and make them more secure, stable, robust and resilient. The objective of this project was to start building the fundamentals of a theory for real interdependent networks, including the generation of novel sets of analytic and computational tools to be used in the analysis of critical interdependent infrastructures.


Subject Categories:

  • Information Science
  • Statistics and Probability

Distribution Statement:

[A, Approved For Public Release]