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Robustness is a control theoretic property that relates the operation of a system to perturbations of its inputs. In the context of resilience, robustness describes the trustworthiness (quantifiable behaviour) of a system in the face of challenges.


Edited Volumes

[Jen-2005ed (doi)]

Erica Jen, ed.
Robust Design: A Repertoire of Biological, Ecological, and Engineering Case Studies,
Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 231–271

ResiliNets Keywords: robustness, complexity, Internet design and architecture

Abstract: “Robust Design brings together 16 chapters by an eminent group of authors in a wide range of fields presenting aspects of robustness in biological, ecological, and computational systems. The [volume] is the first to address robustness in biological, ecological, and computational systems. It is an outgrowth of a new research program on robustness at the Sante Fe Institute founded by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. For those interested in complexity or interdisciplinary science, robustness is seen as currently among the most intellectually active and promising research areas with important applications in all fields of science, business, and economics.”

Notes: James owns copy

Bibliographic Entries


[Jen-2005 (doi) .]

Erica Jan,
“Stable or Robust? What's the Difference?”,
Robust Design: A Repertoire of Biological, Ecological, and Engineering Case Studies,
Erica Jen, ed., Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 7–20

ResiliNets Keywords: robustness, stability

Abstract: “Exploring the difference between "stable" and "robust" touches on essentially every aspect of what we instinctively find interesting about robustness in natural, engineering, and social systems. It is argued here that robustness is a measure of feature persistence in systems that compels us to focus on perturbations, and often assemblages of perturbations, qualitatively different in nature from those addressed by stability theory. Moreover, to address feature persistence under these sorts of perturbations, we are naturally led to study issues including: the coupling of dynamics with organizational architecture, implicit assumptions of the environment, the role of a system’s evolutionary history in determining its current state and thereby its future state, the sense in which robustness characterizes the fitness of the set of "strategic options" open to the system; the capability of the system to switch among multiple functionalities; and the incorporation of mechanisms for learning, problem-solving, and creativity..”

Bibliographic Entries

[Long-Tipper-Gomes-2014 (doi) .]

Xuelian Long, David Tipper, and Teresa Gomes
“Measuring the survivability of networks to geographic correlated failures”,
Optical Switching and Networking, vol14, Part 2, August 2014, pp.117–133

ResiliNets Keywords: Network survivability, Geographic correlated vulnerabilities, Weighted spectrum

Abstract: “Wide area backbone communication networks are subject to a variety of hazards that can result in network component failures. Hazards such as power failures and storms can lead to geographical correlated failures. Recently there has been increasing interest in determining the ability of networks to survive geographic correlated failures and a number of measures to quantify the effects of failures have appeared in the literature. This paper proposes the use of weighted spectrum to evaluate network survivability regarding geographic correlated failures. Further we conduct a comparative analysis by finding the most vulnerable geographic cuts or nodes in the network though solving an optimization problem to determine the cut with the largest impact for a number of measures in the literature as well as weighted spectrum. Numerical results on several sample network topologies show that the worst-case geographic cuts depend on the measure used in an unweighted or a weighted graph. The proposed weighted spectrum measure is shown to be more versatile than other measures in both unweighted and weighted graphs.”

Bibliographic Entries

[Doyle-Alderson-Li-Low-2005 (doi) .]

John C. Doyle, David Alderson, Lun Li, Steven Low, Matthew. Roughan, Stanislav Shalunov, Reiko Tanaka, and Walter Willinger
“The "Robust Yet Fragile" Nature of the Internet”,
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, vol.102, #41, 2005, pp. 14497–14502

ResiliNets Keywords: list

Keywords: complex network, HOT, Internet topology, network design, scale-free network

Abstract: “The search for unifying properties of complex networks is popular, challenging, and important. For modeling approaches that focus on robustness and fragility as unifying concepts, the Internet is an especially attractive case study, mainly because its applications are ubiquitous and pervasive, and widely available expositions exist at every level of detail. Nevertheless, alternative approaches to modeling the Internet often make extremely different assumptions and derive opposite conclusions about fundamental properties of one and the same system. Fortunately, a detailed understanding of Internet technology combined with a unique ability to measure the network means that these differences can be understood thoroughly and resolved unambiguously. This article aims to make recent results of this process accessible beyond Internet specialists to the broader scientific community and to clarify several sources of basic methodological differences that are relevant beyond either the Internet or the two specific approaches focused on here (i.e., scale-free networks and highly optimized tolerance networks).”


Bibliographic Entries

[Willinger-Doyle-2005 (doi) .]

Walter Willinger and John Doyle,
“Robustness and the Internet: Design and evolution”,
Robust Design: A Repertoire of Biological, Ecological, and Engineering Case Studies,
Erica Jen, ed., Oxford University Press, 2005, pp. 231–271

ResiliNets Keywords: robustness, complexity, Internet design and architecture

Abstract: “The objective of this paper is to provide a historical account of the design and evolution of the Internet and use it as a concrete starting point for a scientific exploration of the broader issues of robustness in complex systems. To this end, we argue that anyone interested in complex systems should care about the Internet and its workings, and why anyone interested in the Internet should be concerned about complexity, robustness, fragility, and their trade-offs.”

Notes: importance and relevance to ResiliNets

Bibliographic Entries

[Doerr-Hernandez-2010 (doi) .]

Christian Doerr and Javier Martin Hernandez,
“A Computational Approach to Multi-level Analysis of Network Resilience”,
Proceedings of the Third International Conference on Dependability,
Venice, Italy, July 2010, pp.125–132

ResiliNets Keywords: Dependability, Resilience

Keywords: Measurement, Network topology, Resilience, Robustness, Storms, Topology, Uncertainty

Abstract: "As communication and network technology has advanced into all areas of human life, large-scale failures of such infrastructures can have a drastic impact on its users, the economy and society in general. Significant attention has been paid to study and improve the dependability of such systems, intending to augment their resilience against challenges. This paper presents a computational approach for a multi-level multi-dimensional study of network robustness, providing hard performance guarantees for networks and helping to assess risk and uncertainty associated with threats. We demonstrate in a case study that such approach is well suited to understood the root causes and subsequent effects of network challenges and therefore obtain deeper insights into the resilience of a network under stress."

Notes: Resilience Metrics

Bibliographic Entries

[Mieghem-Doerr-Wang-Hernandez-Hutchison-Karaliopoulos-Kooij-2010 .]

P. Van Mieghem, C. Doerr, H. Wang, J. Martin Hernandez, D. Hutchison, M. Karaliopoulos and R. E. Kooij,
“A Framework for Computing Topological Network Robustness”,
TUDelft Reports,

ResiliNets Keywords: Robustness


Abstract: "Currently, there does not seem to exist a commonly agreed definition of the robustness of a network, nor a framework to modify a network in order to meet some desired level of robustness. The goal of this article is to present a definition and a framework to compute topological network robustness."

Notes: Resilience Metrics

[Mieghem-2011 .]

Piet Van Mieghem
“Robustness of Complex Network(Tutorial)”,
International Workshop on the Design of Reliable Communication Networks<DRCN>,
Krakow Poland, October 2011

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