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Mathematical Problems in Engineering
Volume 2017, Article ID 8673143, 12 pages
Research Article

Complexity and Vulnerability Analysis of Critical Infrastructures: A Methodological Approach

1State Key Laboratory for Geomechanics & Deep Underground Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 22116, China
2School of Mechanics and Civil Engineering, China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou 221116, China
3School of Civil Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing 210096, China
4College of Economic and Management, Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics, Nanjing 210016, China
5School of Civil Engineering, Lanzhou University of Technology, Lanzhou 730050, China

Correspondence should be addressed to Liangliang Song; nc.ude.ues@381921032

Received 17 May 2017; Revised 23 August 2017; Accepted 29 August 2017; Published 19 October 2017

Academic Editor: Ruben Specogna

Copyright © 2017 Yongliang Deng et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Vulnerability analysis of network models has been widely adopted to explore the potential impacts of random disturbances, deliberate attacks, and natural disasters. However, almost all these models are based on a fixed topological structure, in which the physical properties of infrastructure components and their interrelationships are not well captured. In this paper, a new research framework is put forward to quantitatively explore and assess the complexity and vulnerability of critical infrastructure systems. Then, a case study is presented to prove the feasibility and validity of the proposed framework. After constructing metro physical network (MPN), Pajek is employed to analyze its corresponding topological properties, including degree, betweenness, average path length, network diameter, and clustering coefficient. With a comprehensive understanding of the complexity of MPN, it would be beneficial for metro system to restrain original near-miss or accidents and support decision-making in emergency situations. Moreover, through the analysis of two simulation protocols for system component failure, it is found that the MPN turned to be vulnerable under the condition that the high-degree nodes or high-betweenness edges are attacked. These findings will be conductive to offer recommendations and proposals for robust design, risk-based decision-making, and prioritization of risk reduction investment.