Systemic risk on finite networks

22 April 2018

How big is the risk that a few initial failures of nodes in a network amplify to large cascades? Predicting the final cascade size is critical to ensure the functioning of a system as a whole.

To make this prediction, we often compute the average cascade size using local tree approximations or mean field approximations. Yet, as we demonstrate in our recent work, in finite networks, this average does not even need to be a likely outcome. Instead, we find broad and even bimodal cascade size distributions.

Cascade size distribution on finete networks