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Published April 2015 | metadata_only
Journal Article

General network reliability problem and its efficient solution by Subset Simulation


Complex technological networks designed for distribution of some resource or commodity are a pervasive feature of modern society. Moreover, the dependence of our society on modern technological networks constantly grows. As a result, there is an increasing demand for these networks to be highly reliable in delivering their service. As a consequence, there is a pressing need for efficient computational methods that can quantitatively assess the reliability of technological networks to enhance their design and operation in the presence of uncertainty in their future demand, supply and capacity. In this paper, we propose a stochastic framework for quantitative assessment of the reliability of network service, formulate a general network reliability problem within this framework, and then show how to calculate the service reliability using Subset Simulation, an efficient Markov chain Monte Carlo method that was originally developed for estimating small failure probabilities of complex dynamic systems. The efficiency of the method is demonstrated with an illustrative example where two small-world network generation models are compared in terms of the maximum-flow reliability of the networks that they produce.

Additional Information

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Received 18 July 2014; Received in revised form 14 January 2015; Accepted 2 February 2015; Available online 4 February 2015. This work was supported by the National Science Foundation under award number EAR-0941374 to the California Institute of Technology. This support is gratefully acknowledged. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the National Science Foundation.

Additional details

August 22, 2023
August 22, 2023