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The cost of attack in competing networks

Podobnik, Boris; Horvatić, Davor; Lipić, Tomislav; Perc, Matjaž; Buldú, Javier Martin; Stanley, H. Eugene (2015) The cost of attack in competing networks. Journal of the Royal Society Interface, 12 (112). pp. 20150770-1. ISSN 1742-5689

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Real-world attacks can be interpreted as the result of competitive interactions between networks, ranging from predator–prey networks to networks of countries under economic sanctions. Although the purpose of an attack is to damage a target network, it also curtails the ability of the attacker, which must choose the duration and magnitude of an attack to avoid negative impacts on its own functioning. Nevertheless, despite the large number of studies on interconnected networks, the consequences of initiating an attack have never been studied. Here, we address this issue by introducing a model of network competition where a resilient network is willing to partially weaken its own resilience in order to more severely damage a less resilient competitor. The attacking network can take over the competitor's nodes after their long inactivity. However, owing to a feedback mechanism the takeovers weaken the resilience of the attacking network. We define a conservation law that relates the feedback mechanism to the resilience dynamics for two competing networks. Within this formalism, we determine the cost and optimal duration of an attack, allowing a network to evaluate the risk of initiating hostilities.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: complex networks; interactive networks; socioeconomic systems; network vulnerability; robustness; attacks
Subjects: NATURAL SCIENCES > Mathematics
Divisions: Center for Informatics and Computing
Depositing User: Tomislav Lipić
Date Deposited: 18 Nov 2016 10:42
Last Modified: 18 Nov 2016 10:42
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0770

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