Betweenness Centrality Metrics for Assessing Electrical Power Network Robustness against Fragmentation and Node Failure

Ken A. Hawick


power network, betweenness centrality, robustness, fragmentation, complexity


Electrical power distribution networks are generally constructed incrementally over time and designs are heavily influenced by spatial geography. Assessing the robustness of electrical distribution networks against vulnerability to fragmentation and failure of particular nodes is a difficult general problem. Graph metrics such as betweenness and other centrality measures can give some indications of vulnerable nodes. We analyse both a parameterised synthetic power distribution network, and a real specific electrical network to experiment with: betweenness; centrality; clustering; and shortest-path distance metrics. We experiment with systematically removing the current most central node to study overall network degradation properties. We find that even for simple networks a great deal of inherent complexity exists and that the emergent failure properties are not necessarily monotonic and can exhibit sudden catastrophic changes.

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