Identification and Quantification of Node Criticality through EWM–TOPSIS : A Study of Hong Kong’s MTR System

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

View graph of relations



Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226–239
Journal / PublicationUrban Rail Transit
Issue number3
Online published3 Aug 2021
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2021


Public transport networks (PTNs) are critical in populated and rapidly densifying cities such as Hong Kong, Beijing, Shanghai, Mumbai, and Tokyo. Public transportation plays an indispensable role in urban resilience with an integrated, complex, and dynamically changeable network structure. Consequently, identifying and quantifying node criticality in complex PTNs is of great practical significance to improve network robustness from damage. Despite the proposition of various node criticality criteria to address this problem, few succeeded in more comprehensive aspects. Therefore, this paper presents an efficient and thorough ranking method, that is, entropy weight method (EWM)–technology for order preference by similarity to an ideal solution (TOPSIS), named EWM–TOPSIS, to evaluate node criticality by taking into account various node features in complex networks. Then we demonstrate it on the Mass Transit Railway (MTR) in Hong Kong by removing and recovering the top k critical nodes in descending order to compare the effectiveness of degree centrality (DC), betweenness centrality (BC), closeness centrality (CC), and the proposed EWM–TOPSIS method. Four evaluation indicators, that is, the frequency of nodes with the same ranking (F), the global network efficiency (E), the size of the largest connected component (LCC), and the average path length (APL), are computed to compare the performance of the four methods and measure network robustness under different designed attack and recovery strategies. The results demonstrate that the EWM–TOPSIS method has more obvious advantages than the others, especially in the early stage.

Research Area(s)

  • Entropy weighting method, Network analysis, Network connectivity, Node criticality, Public transport network