In the modeling, monitoring, and control of complex networks, a fundamental problem concerns the comprehensive determination of the state of the system from limited measurements. Using power grids as example networks, we show that this problem leads to a new type of percolation transition, here termed a network observability transition, which we solve analytically for the configuration model. We also demonstrate a dual role of the network's community structure, which both facilitates optimal measurement placement and renders the networks substantially more sensitive to "observability attacks." Aside from their immediate implications for the development of smart grids, these results provide insights into decentralized biological, social, and technological networks.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)