Decentralised networks are naturally robust against certain types of attack. Now one mathematician says advanced geometry shows how to make them even more robust.
One of the common myths about the internet is that it was originally designed during the Cold War to survive nuclear attack. Historians of the internet are quick to point out that this was not at all one of the design goals of the early network, although the decentralised nature of the system turns out to make it much more robust than any kind of centralised network.
Nevertheless, the internet is still vulnerable. For example, the magnitude 9 earthquake and resulting tsunami that struck Japan on 11 March 2011, caused huge damage to the Japanese telecommunications infrastructure.
The Japanese telecom company NTT says it lost 18 exchange buildings and 65,000 telegraph poles in the disaster which also damaged 1.5 million fixed line circuits and 6300 kilometres of cabling.
That raises an interesting question: could the spatial layout of the internet be made any more robust against this kind of damage?