The robustness is an important functionality of networks because it manifests the ability of networks to resist failures or attacks. Many robustness measures have been proposed from different aspects, which provide us various ways to evaluate the network robustness. However, whether these measures can properly evaluate the network robustness and which aspects of network robustness these measures can evaluate are still open questions. Therefore, in this paper, a thorough introduction over attacks and robustness measures is first given, and then nine widely used robustness measures are comparatively studied. To validate whether a robustness measure can evaluate the network robustness properly, the sensitivity of robustness measures is first studied on both initial and optimized networks. Then, the performance of robustness measures in guiding the optimization process is studied, where both the optimization process and the obtained optimized networks are studied. The experimental results show that, first, the robustness measures are more sensitive to the changes in initial networks than to those in optimized networks; second, an optimized network may not be useful in practical situations because some useful functionalities, such as the shortest path length and communication efficiency, are sacrificed too much to improve the robustness; third, the robustness of networks in terms of closely correlated robustness measures can often be improved together. These results indicate that it is not wise to just apply the optimized networks obtained by optimizing over one certain robustness measure into practical situations. Practical requirements should be considered, and optimizing over two or more suitable robustnessmeasures simultaneously is also a promising way.

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