The interconnection of the relays in a cable TV network is bi-directional. The network is connected if there is at least one interconnection path between each pair of relays present in the network. Otherwise the network is disconnected. An empty network or a network with a single relay is considered connected. The safety factor f of a network with n relays is:
- n, if the net remains connected regardless the number of relays removed from the net.
- The minimal number of relays that disconnect the network when removed.
For example, consider the nets from figure 1, where the circles mark the relays and the solid lines correspond to interconnection cables. The network (a) is connected regardless the number of relays that are removed and, according to rule (1), f=n=3. The network (b) is disconnected when 0 relays are removed, hence f=0 by rule (2). The network (c) is disconnected when the relays 1 and 2 or 1 and 3 are removed. The safety factor is 2.