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The complexity and robustness of metro networks

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  • Derrible, Sybil
  • Kennedy, Christopher

Abstract

Transportation systems, being real-life examples of networks, are particularly interesting to analyze from the viewpoint of the new and rapidly emerging field of network science. Two particular concepts seem to be particularly relevant: scale-free patterns and small-worlds. By looking at 33 metro systems in the world, this paper adapts network science methodologies to the transportation literature, and offers one application to the robustness of metros; here, metro refers to urban rail transit with exclusive right-of-way, whether it is underground, at grade or elevated. We find that most metros are indeed scale-free (with scaling factors ranging from 2.10 to 5.52) and small-worlds; they show atypical behaviors, however, with increasing size. In particular, the presence of transfer-hubs (stations hosting more than three lines) results in relatively large scaling factors. The analysis provides insights/recommendations for increasing the robustness of metro networks. Smaller networks should focus on creating transfer stations, thus generating cycles to offer alternative routes. For larger networks, few stations seem to detain a certain monopole on transferring, it is therefore important to create additional transfers, possibly at the periphery of city centers; the Tokyo system seems to remarkably incorporate these properties.

Suggested Citation

  • Derrible, Sybil & Kennedy, Christopher, 2010. "The complexity and robustness of metro networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 389(17), pages 3678-3691.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:phsmap:v:389:y:2010:i:17:p:3678-3691
    DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2010.04.008
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    6. Cats, O. & Yap, M. & van Oort, N., 2016. "Exposing the role of exposure: Public transport network risk analysis," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 1-14.
    7. Li, Yixiao & Zhang, Lin & Huang, Chaogeng & Shen, Bin, 2016. "The structural robustness of geographical networks against regional failure and their pre-optimization," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 451(C), pages 420-428.
    8. Zhang, Jianhua & Zhao, Mingwei & Liu, Haikuan & Xu, Xiaoming, 2013. "Networked characteristics of the urban rail transit networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 392(6), pages 1538-1546.
    9. Sun, Daniel (Jian) & Guan, Shituo, 2016. "Measuring vulnerability of urban metro network from line operation perspective," Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice, Elsevier, vol. 94(C), pages 348-359.
    10. Oded Cats & Erik Jenelius, 2014. "Dynamic Vulnerability Analysis of Public Transport Networks: Mitigation Effects of Real-Time Information," Networks and Spatial Economics, Springer, vol. 14(3), pages 435-463, December.
    11. Daniel (Jian) Sun & Yuhan Zhao & Qing-Chang Lu, 2015. "Vulnerability Analysis of Urban Rail Transit Networks: A Case Study of Shanghai, China," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 7(6), pages 1-18, May.
    12. Zhang, Jianhua & Wang, Shuliang & Zhang, Zhaojun & Zou, Kuansheng & Shu, Zhan, 2016. "Characteristics on hub networks of urban rail transit networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 447(C), pages 502-507.
    13. Wang, Xiangrong & Koç, Yakup & Derrible, Sybil & Ahmad, Sk Nasir & Pino, Willem J.A. & Kooij, Robert E., 2017. "Multi-criteria robustness analysis of metro networks," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 474(C), pages 19-31.
    14. Zhang, Jianhua & Xu, Xiaoming & Hong, Liu & Wang, Shuliang & Fei, Qi, 2011. "Networked analysis of the Shanghai subway network, in China," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 390(23), pages 4562-4570.
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    20. Amirhassan Kermanshah & Sybil Derrible, 2017. "Robustness of road systems to extreme flooding: using elements of GIS, travel demand, and network science," Natural Hazards: Journal of the International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, Springer;International Society for the Prevention and Mitigation of Natural Hazards, vol. 86(1), pages 151-164, March.
    21. Feng, Jia & Li, Xiamiao & Mao, Baohua & Xu, Qi & Bai, Yun, 2017. "Weighted complex network analysis of the Beijing subway system: Train and passenger flows," Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, Elsevier, vol. 474(C), pages 213-223.
    22. David Levinson, 2011. "Network Structure and City Size," Working Papers 000094, University of Minnesota: Nexus Research Group.

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