Multi-criteria robustness analysis of metro networks

Xiangrong Wang*, Yakup Koç, Sybil Derrible, Sk Nasir Ahmad, Willem J A Pino, Robert E. Kooij

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


Metros (heavy rail transit systems) are integral parts of urban transportation systems. Failures in their operations can have serious impacts on urban mobility, and measuring their robustness is therefore critical. Moreover, as physical networks, metros can be viewed as topological entities, and as such they possess measurable network properties. In this article, by using network science and graph theory, we investigate ten theoretical and four numerical robustness metrics and their performance in quantifying the robustness of 33 metro networks under random failures or targeted attacks. We find that the ten theoretical metrics capture two distinct aspects of robustness of metro networks. First, several metrics place an emphasis on alternative paths. Second, other metrics place an emphasis on the length of the paths. To account for all aspects, we standardize all ten indicators and plot them on radar diagrams to assess the overall robustness for metro networks. Overall, we find that Tokyo and Rome are the most robust networks. Rome benefits from short transferring and Tokyo has a significant number of transfer stations, both in the city center and in the peripheral area of the city, promoting both a higher number of alternative paths and overall relatively short path-lengths.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-31
Number of pages13
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • Complex networks
  • Metro networks
  • Network metrics
  • Resilience
  • Robustness


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