Identifying Vulnerable Nodes to Cascading Failures: Centrality to the Rescue

  • Richard J. LaEmail author
Conference paper
Part of the Studies in Computational Intelligence book series (SCI, volume 812)


We study the problem of identifying nodes that are more likely to trigger cascading failures in complex systems, which we call vulnerable nodes. We show that there is a close relation between the likelihood of a node setting off cascading failures (which we call the cascading failure probability) and its non-backtracking centrality; when every failed node is equally likely to cause the failure of each neighbor, the cascading failure probability and non-backtracking centrality of a node are proportional to each other. Based on this observation, we propose a new approach to finding vulnerable nodes and study its performance using numerical studies.


Cascading failures Nonbacktracking centrality 



This work was supported in part by contract 70NANB16H024 from National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).


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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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