Cascade-based attack vulnerability on the US power grid

Authors: Jian-Wei Wang and Li-Li Rong

Safety Science, Vol. 47, No. 10. (16 December 2009), pp. 1332-1336

The vulnerability of real-life networks subject to intentional attacks has been one of the outstanding challenges in the study of the network safety. Applying the real data of the US power grid, we compare the effects of two different attacks for the network robustness against cascading failures, i.e., removal by either the descending or ascending orders of the loads. In one case, our investigation by the numerical simulations leads to a counterintuitive finding on the US power grid that the attack on the nodes with the lowest loads is more harmful than the attack on the ones with the highest loads. In addition, the almost same effect of two attacks may be useful in furthering studies on the control and defense of cascading failures in the US power grid.

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