Robustness of power-law behavior in cascading line failure models

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Inspired by reliability issues in electric transmission networks, we use a probabilistic approach to study the occurrence of large failures in a stylized cascading line failure model. Such models capture the phenomenon where an initial line failure potentially triggers massive knock-on effects. Under certain critical conditions, the probability that the number of line failures exceeds a large threshold obeys a power-law distribution, a distinctive property observed in empiric blackout data. In this paper, we examine the robustness of the power-law behavior by exploring under which conditions this behavior prevails.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)45-72
Number of pages28
JournalStochastic Models
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2018


  • Cascading failures
  • blackouts
  • power-law
  • rare-event


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