Cascading failures have become major threats to network robustness due to their potential catastrophic consequences, where local perturbations can induce global propagation of failures. Unlike failures spreading via direct contacts due to structural interdependencies, overload failures usually propagate through collective interactions among system components. Despite the critical need in developing protection or mitigation strategies in networks such as power grids and transportation, the propagation behavior of cascading failures is essentially unknown. Here we find by analyzing our collected data that jams in city traffic and faults in power grid are spatially long-range correlated with correlations decaying slowly with distance. Moreover, we find in the daily traffic, that the correlation length increases dramatically and reaches maximum, when morning or evening rush hour is approaching. Our study can impact all efforts towards improving actively system resilience ranging from evaluation of design schemes, development of protection strategies to implementation of mitigation programs.
Via Claudia Mihai, Complexity Digest