Mitigation and Recovery from Cascading Failures in Interdependent Networks under Uncertainty

Diman Zad Tootaghaj, Novella Bartolini, Hana Khamfroush, Ting He, Nilanjan Ray Chaudhuri, Thomas La Porta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


The interdependence of multiple networks makes today's infrastructures more vulnerable to failures. Prior works mainly focused on robust network design and recovery strategies after failures, given complete knowledge of failure location. Nevertheless, in real-world scenarios, the location of failures might be unknown or only partially known. In this paper, we focus on cascading failures involving the power grid and its communication network with imprecision in failure assessment. We consider a model where functionality of the power grid and its failure assessment rely on the operation of a monitoring system and vice versa. We address ongoing cascading failures with a twofold approach: first, once a cascading failure is detected, we limit further propagation by redispatching generation and shedding loads; and second, we formulate a recovery plan to maximize the total amount of load served during the recovery intervention. We performed extensive simulations on real network topologies showing the effectiveness of the proposed approach in terms of number of disrupted power lines and total served load.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8370647
Pages (from-to)501-514
Number of pages14
JournalIEEE Transactions on Control of Network Systems
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2019

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Manuscript received February 14, 2018; revised April 26, 2018; accepted May 5, 2018. Date of publication June 1, 2018; date of current version May 28, 2019. This work was supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency under Grant HDTRA1-10-1-0085. The work of N. Bartolini was supported by the NATO under the SPS Grant G4936 SONiCS. This paper was presented in part at the IEEE 36th Symposium on Reliable Distributed Systems, Hong Kong, September 2017. Recommended by Associate Editor S. Dey. (Corresponding author: Diman Zad Tootaghaj.) D. Z. Tootaghaj, T. He, and T. La Porta are with the Department of Computer Science, The Pennsylvania State University, PA 16802 USA (e-mail:;;

Funding Information:
Dr. Chaudhuri is a Member of the IEEE Power and Energy Society. He was the recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award in 2016.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2014 IEEE.


  • Cascading failures
  • interdependent networks
  • power grids

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Control and Optimization


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