Risk-aware attacks and catastrophic cascading failures in U.S. power grid

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Date of Original Version



The power grid network is a complex network which is subjected to attacks and cascading failures. In this paper, we study the vulnerabilities of power grid in terms of cascading failures caused by node failures. Specifically, we define three metrics, the percentage-of-failure, Required Redundancy (RED), and Risk if Failure (RIF), to represent the critical level for each node. Based on these metrics, we can easily find the optimal victim nodes which attackers should choose to attack in order to cause cascading failure. From the defense point of view, these nodes are the weakest components of the power grid system and need more protection. With the results in this paper, we can be more aware of the risk level faced by the system if some nodes are taken down. Simulation results demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed optimal victim nodes selection strategy. © 2011 IEEE.

Publication Title

GLOBECOM - IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference