A Framework of Hierarchical Attacks to Network Controllability

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number105780
Journal / PublicationCommunications in Nonlinear Science and Numerical Simulation
Online published20 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2021


Network controllability robustness reflects how well a networked dynamical system can maintain its controllability against destructive attacks. This paper investigates the network controllability robustness from the perspective of a malicious attack. A framework of hierarchical attack is proposed, by means of edge- or node-removal attacks. Edges (or nodes) in a target network are classified hierarchically into categories, with different priorities to attack. The category of critical edges (or nodes) has the highest priority to be selected for attack. Extensive experiments on nine synthetic networks and nine real-world networks show the effectiveness of the proposed hierarchical attack strategies for destructing the network controllability. From the protection point of view, this study suggests that the critical edges and nodes should be hidden from the attackers. This finding helps better understand the network controllability and better design robust networks.

Research Area(s)

  • Attack strategy, Complex network, Network controllability, Robustness