Another view of the Internet's fragility

Oct 04, 2005

The Internet may not be as vulnerable to centralized attacks as previously suggested, researchers in California reported Monday.

Researchers have built mathematical models of the Internet and used them to study the robustness of the system. One type of model, called a "scale-free" network, portrays the Internet as being unaffected by random component failures, but vulnerable to targeted attacks on highly connected hubs.

John Doyle and colleagues at the California Institute of Technology examined the abstract models and compared them with the organizing principles behind the Internet. They found that at the router level, the current Internet does not have most characteristics predicted by the scale-free models.

The authors also found technological, economic and mathematical reasons explaining why a functioning Internet could not be dominated by high-traffic hubs that render the entire network vulnerable to attacks.

The scientists propose a model involving optimization of tradeoffs under constraints.

"Understanding complex networks in technology and biology is increasingly important, since seemingly arcane aspects of their robustness and fragility are having greater impacts on everyone's lives," Doyle says.

The study appears in the online early edition of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Recommended for you

Google hits back at rivals with futuristic HQ plan

Feb 27, 2015

Google unveiled plans Friday for a new campus headquarters integrating wildlife and sweeping waterways, aiming to make a big statement in Silicon Valley—which is already seeing ambitious projects from Apple ...

Barclays to allow payments by using Twitter handles

Feb 27, 2015

The next chapter in banks moving into the digital age is a stretch beyond reminding customers over phone lines that they can also bank online. Barclays has launched Twitter payments through Pingit.

Pebble smartwatch nears Kickstarter record

Feb 27, 2015

The latest version of the Pebble smartwatch neared a record funding amount on Kickstarter on Friday amid growing interest in wearable tech and ahead of the highly anticipated Apple Watch launch.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.