Inderscience Publishers

Modelling interdependent infrastructures using interacting dynamical models

We investigate the consequence of failures, occurring on the electrical grid, on a telecommunication network. We have focused on the Italian electrical transmission network and the backbone of the internet network for research (GARR). Electrical network has been simulated using the DC power flow method; data traffic on GARR by a model of the TCP/IP basic features. The status of GARR nodes has been related to the power level of the (geographically) neighbouring electrical nodes (if the power level of a node is lower than a threshold, all communication nodes depending on it are switched off). The electrical network has been perturbed by lines removal: the consequent re-dispatching reduces the power level in all nodes. This reduces the number of active GARR nodes and, thus, its Quality of Service (QoS). Averaging over many configurations of perturbed electrical network, we have correlated the degradation of the electrical network with that of the communication network. Results point to a sizeable amplification of the effects of faults on the electrical network on the communication network, also in the case of a moderate coupling between the two networks.

Keywords: interdependent networks, complex systems, topological analysis, modelling, critical infrastructures, electrical grid, telecommunication networks, Italy, internet, quality of service, QoS, communications

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