Critical link analysis of a national internet backbone via dynamic perturbation

Manuel Herrera, Marco Pérez-Hernández, Amit Kumar Jain, Ajith Kumar Parlikad

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1 Citation (Scopus)
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Long-haul backbone communication networks provide internet services across a region or a country. The access to internet at smaller areas and the functioning of other critical infrastructures rely on the long-haul backbone high speed services and resilience. Hence, such networks are key for the decision-making of internet service managers and providers, as well as for the management and control of other critical infrastructures. This paper proposes a critical link analysis of the physical infrastructure of the UK internet backbone network from a dynamic, complex network approach. To this end, perturbation network analyses provide a natural framework to measure the network tolerance facing structural or topological modifications. Furthermore, there have been taken into account variations on data-traffic for the internet backbone that usually happen in a typical day. The novelty of the proposal is, then, twofold: proposing a weighted (traffic informed) Laplacian matrix to compute a perturbation centrality measure, and enhancing it by a time-dependent perturbation analysis to detect changes in link criticality within the network, coming from data traffic variation in a day. The results show which are the most critical links at every time of the day, being of main importance for protection, maintenance and mitigation plans for the UK internet backbone.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • communication network
  • perturbation analysis
  • graph theory
  • complex networks
  • dynamic systems


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