Robustness and structure of complex networks
This dissertation covers the two major parts of my PhD research on statistical physics and complex networks: i) modeling a new type of attack – localized attack, and investigating robustness of complex networks under this type of attack; ii) discovering the clustering structure in complex networks and its influence on the robustness of coupled networks. Complex networks appear in every aspect of our daily life and are widely studied in Physics, Mathematics, Biology, and Computer Science. One important property of complex networks is their robustness under attacks, which depends crucially on the nature of attacks and the structure of the networks themselves. Previous studies have focused on two types of attack: random attack and targeted attack, which, however, are insufficient to describe many real-world damages. Here we propose a new type of attack – localized attack, and study the robustness of complex networks under this type of attack, both analytically and via simulation. On the other hand, we also study the clustering structure in the network, and its influence on the robustness of a complex network system. In the first part, we propose a theoretical framework to study the robustness of complex networks under localized attack based on percolation theory and generating function method. We investigate the percolation properties, including the critical threshold of the phase transition pc and the size of the giant component P∞. We compare localized attack with random attack and find that while random regular (RR) networks are more robust against localized attack, Erd ̋os-R ́enyi (ER) networks are equally robust under both types of attacks. As for scale-free (SF) networks, their robustness depends crucially on the degree exponent λ. The simulation results show perfect agreement with theoretical predictions. We also test our model on two real-world networks: a peer-to-peer computer network and an airline network, and find that the real-world networks are much more vulnerable to localized attack compared with random attack. In the second part, we extend the tree-like generating function method to incorporating clustering structure in complex networks. We study the robustness of a complex network system, especially a network of networks (NON) with clustering structure in each network. We find that the system becomes less robust as we increase the clustering coefficient of each network. For a partially dependent network system, we also find that the influence of the clustering coefficient on network robustness decreases as we decrease the coupling strength, and the critical coupling strength qc, at which the first-order phase transition changes to second-order, increases as we increase the clustering coefficient.