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access icon free Core identification and attack strategies against regenerative complex networks

Modelling enemy networks in a way that reveals their key entities and links is important when disrupting complex networks with high redundancy. How best to attack such networks under a limited ground intelligence constraint is examined. The key modelling contribution is to include both the heterogeneity of the node functions and the dynamics of recuperation after destruction. Through identifying the core nodes, the results show that ground intelligence should focus on locating and attacking high degree nodes, yielding a 41% reduction in conflict length over random opportunistic targeting and a 23% reduction over specialist targeting. Even when difficult to replace specialists are considered, targeting high degree nodes that can recuperate quickly, remains the most effective method of attack. The impact is to allow military forces to more effectively target enemy nodes that will cause functional paralysis and create further collapses.


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