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Physics  2013 

Robustness and Directed Structures in Ecological Flow Networks

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Robustness of ecological flow networks under random failure of arcs is considered with respect to two different functionalities: coherence and circulation. In our previous work, we showed that each functionality is associated with a natural path notion: lateral path for the former and directed path for the latter. Robustness of a network is measured in terms of the size of the giant laterally connected arc component and that of the giant strongly connected arc component, respectively. We study how realistic structures of ecological flow networks affect the robustness with respect to each functionality. To quantify the impact of realistic network structures, two null models are considered for a given real ecological flow network: one is random networks with the same degree distribution and the other is those with the same average degree. Robustness of the null models is calculated by theoretically solving the size of giant components for the configuration model. We show that realistic network structures have positive effect on robustness for coherence, whereas they have negative effect on robustness for circulation.


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