When it comes to connecting networks or other systems together, it is best to have many, but not too many, connections, mathematicians have found.
Administrators and network engineers have long assumed that the more connections they insert between multiple networks, the more resilient the communications between these networks will be. The Internet, for example, derives much of its resiliency from multiple, redundant links. But this is true only up to a point. Too many connections can actually be dangerous, because failures in one network can easily cascade to the other, noted Charles Brummitt, a mathematics researcher at the University of California, Davis, who led a team that looked into this issue.
Instead, network owners should fine-tune the number of connections for maximum resiliency, Brummitt said.
Brummitt's team published its work in this week's issue of the "Proceedings of The National Academies of Science." Read more...
MySociety first publicised the issue last week.
A developer told us the bug struck while his team was giving a demo to a potential investor. The team subsequently spent two days tracking down what had caused the issue.