Enhancing Network Robustness via Shielding

Jianan Zhang*, Eytan Modiano, David Hay

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


We consider shielding critical links to enhance the robustness of a network, in which shielded links are resilient to failures. We first study the problem of increasing network connectivity by shielding links that belong to small cuts of a network, which improves the network reliability under random link failures. We then focus on the problem of shielding links to guarantee network connectivity under geographical and general failure models. We develop a mixed integer linear program (MILP) to obtain the minimum cost shielding to guarantee the connectivity of a single source-destination pair under a general failure model, and exploit geometric properties to decompose the shielding problem under a geographical failure model. We extend our MILP formulation to guarantee the connectivity of the entire network, and use Benders decomposition to significantly reduce the running time. We also apply simulated annealing to obtain near-optimal solutions in much shorter time. Finally, we extend the algorithms to guarantee partial network connectivity, and observe significant reduction in the shielding cost, especially when the geographical failure region is small.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7906469
Pages (from-to)2209-2222
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE/ACM Transactions on Networking
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2017

Bibliographical note

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  • Connectivity
  • geographical failure
  • network robustness
  • shielding


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