ASQ - Electronics and Communications Division

Assessing Multi-Layered Social Networks using Reliability Models

Abstract: 2010 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. However, permission to reprint/republish this material for advertising or promotional purposes or for creating new collective works for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or to reuse any copyrighted component of this work in other works must first be obtained from the IEEE.

In this paper we introduce the first model to determine how best to make connections amongst a multi-layer network so to ensure a specified level of reliability amongst the components (actors) in the various levels of the system. This work is broadly applicable to any relationship in manufacturing, business organization or social networks in which the communication structure between independent subsystems is to be determined. Our approach utilizes concepts from the fields of reliability and network optimization to provide decision makers with the first tool for measuring the tradeoff between system reliability and the degree of information sharing in a system. Using an intelligent enumeration scheme, we provide solutions and analysis for an example network. The results support the conclusion that a significant decrease in reliability accompanies even moderate increases in the requirements of participating components (actors). They also emphasize that given the level of network design flexibility allowed in our model, numerous communication paths of equivalent system reliability are available that would be difficult to obtain without mathematical modeling.

Keywords: RAMS 2011 Proceedings - Networks - Simulation

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