Critical cooperation range to improve spatial network robustness


A robust worldwide air-transportation network (WAN) is one that minimizes the number of stranded passengers under a sequence of airport closures. Building on top of this realistic example, here we address how spatial network robustness can profit from cooperation between local actors. We swap a series of links within a certain distance, a cooperation range, while following typical constraints of spatially embedded networks. We find that the network robustness is only improved above a critical cooperation range. Such improvement can be described in the framework of a continuum transition, where the critical exponents depend on the spatial correlation of connected nodes. For theWAN we show that, except for Australia, all continental networks fall into the same universality class. Practical implications of this result are also discussed.