Graph Vulnerability and Robustness: A Survey

Scott Freitas, Diyi Yang, Srijan Kumar, Hanghang Tong, Duen Horng Chau

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of network robustness is a critical tool in the characterization and sense making of complex interconnected systems such as infrastructure, communication and social networks. While significant research has been conducted in these areas, gaps in the surveying literature still exist. Answers to key questions are currently scattered across multiple scientific fields and numerous papers. In this survey, we distill key findings across numerous domains and provide researchers crucial access to important information by - (1) summarizing and comparing recent and classical graph robustness measures; (2) exploring which robustness measures are most applicable to different categories of networks (e.g., social, infrastructure); (3) reviewing common network attack strategies, and summarizing which attacks are most effective across different network topologies; and (4) extensive discussion on selecting defense techniques to mitigate attacks across a variety of networks. This survey guides researchers and practitioners in navigating the expansive field of network robustness, while summarizing answers to key questions. We conclude by highlighting current research directions and open problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)5915-5934
Number of pages20
JournalIEEE Transactions on Knowledge and Data Engineering
Issue number6
Early online dateMar 30 2022
StatePublished - Jun 2023


  • Graphs
  • attacks
  • defense
  • networks
  • robustness
  • vulnerability

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Information Systems
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics


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