Skip to main content
Log in

Exploring the vulnerability of network infrastructure to disruption

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
The Annals of Regional Science Aims and scope Submit manuscript


Disruption of network facilities (nodes or arcs) resulting in loss of system functionality is of particular concern in the operation of critical network infrastructures. In preparing for events such as natural disasters, accidents, and/or sabotage, numerous disruption possibilities exist for any network and efforts to safeguard against the most destructive of those are often sought. Although, many approaches exist for identifying network vulnerabilities, mathematical programming and simulation are typically used as exploratory approaches for uncovering potentially important disruption scenarios. Mathematical programming approaches can identify bounds on network vulnerability while simulation can provide important insights to complement these bounds, as well as provide insights in cases where mathematical programming is not practical. This research presents a simulation methodology for evaluating network vulnerability to disruption. A case study illustrates the complexities associated with planning for such events.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Subscribe and save

Springer+ Basic
EUR 32.99 /Month
  • Get 10 units per month
  • Download Article/Chapter or Ebook
  • 1 Unit = 1 Article or 1 Chapter
  • Cancel anytime
Subscribe now

Buy Now

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others


  • Abilene (2005)

  • Church RL, Scaparra MP, Middleton RS (2004) Identifying critical infrastructure: the median and covering facility interdiction problems. Ann Assoc Am Geogr 94(3): 491–502

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grubesic TH, Matisziw TC, Murray AT, Snediker D (2008) Comparative approaches for assessing network vulnerability. Int Reg Sci Rev 31(1): 88–112

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Grubesic TH, O’Kelly ME, Murray AT (2003) A Geographic perspective on commercial internet survivability. Telematics Informatics 20(1): 51–69

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Israeli E, Wood RK (2002) Shortest-path network interdiction. Networks 40(2): 97–111

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Jenelius E, Petersen T, Mattsson L-G (2005) Importance and exposure in road network vulnerability analysis. Transport Res Part A 40: 537–560

    Google Scholar 

  • Matisziw TC, Murray AT (2008) Modeling s–t path availability to support disaster ulnerability assessment of network infrastructure. Comput Oper Res (in press.) doi:10.1016/j.cor.2007.09.004

  • Murray AT, Matisziw TC, Grubesic TH (2008) Multimethodological approaches to network vulnerability analysis. Growth Change (in press)

  • Murray AT, Matisziw TC, Grubesic TH (2007) Critical network infrastructure analysis: interdiction and system flow. J Geogr Syst 9: 103–117

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Ratliff DH, Sicilia GT, Lubore SH (1975) Finding the n most vital links in flow networks. Manage Sci 21(5): 531–539

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Salmeron J, Wood K, Baldick R (2004) Analysis of electric grid security under terrorist threat. IEEE Trans Power Syst 19(2): 905–912

    Article  Google Scholar 

  • Wood KR (1993) Deterministic network interdiction. Math Comp Model 17(2): 1–18

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Matisziw, T.C., Murray, A.T. & Grubesic, T.H. Exploring the vulnerability of network infrastructure to disruption. Ann Reg Sci 43, 307–321 (2009).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

JEL Classification