New tool spotlights weakest net links

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, have developed a computer-based tool that, when put to use in large distributed networks, could uncover the most used, expensive and vulnerable links. The tool would help companies and government agencies better gird their networks against natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, and terrorist attacks, such as those on Sept. 11, 2001, by providing a way to measure network efficiencies and employ a ranking system of managed nodes and links. The information could give companies information they need to protect the most critical network components, researchers say. “Previous measures ignored how users of networks would readjust subject to a failure” said Anna Nagurney, John F. Smith Memorial professor. 073076

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