Investigating the power law distribution of a chemical installations' network
Faculty of Applied Economics
London :Taylor & Francis, 2014
Engineering sciences. Technology
Safety, reliability and risk analysis : beyond the horizon / Steenbergen, R. [edit.]; et al.
University of Antwerp
Based on individual installations' escalation danger levels, so-called Domino Danger Units, developed by Reniers & Dullaert (2007, 2008), it is possible to investigate whether an installations' network representing a chemical industrial area is subject to a power-law. If this would be the case, very few nodes (/installations) may exhibit very high connectivity (/dangerousness) while the vast majority of nodes have only few links. Scale-free networks for example, obeying a power-law, are extremely tolerant of random failures; they can absorb random failures in up to 80% of their nodes before they collapse. However, attacks simultaneously destroying as few as 10% to 15% of a scale-free network's high-connected nodes can cause the entire network to collapse. We show in this article that an industrial area composed of hundreds of chemical installations indeed displays power-law characteristics, and, as a result, that it is possible to protect the area in a more rational way. By taking intelligent precautions with the highly connected "high-danger" installations, an industrial chemical area would be much better secured against terrorist attacks or non-random failures. A more mathematical approach to implementing security countermeasures in a chemical cluster is thus appropriate based on these results.