Leah Shaw
Epidemic spread in adaptive social networks: Effects of avoidance behavior

Many infectious diseases spread along a network of person-to-person social contacts. We consider the case of adaptive social networks, in which the network structure changes adaptively as people adjust their social contacts to avoid exposure, and the changes in network geometry affect subsequent spreading dynamics. The form of adaptation most frequently studied is avoidance rewiring, where susceptible nodes rewire their connections away from infectives and toward other susceptibles. Two new models are presented, showing effects of different forms of network adaptation. In the first, not all individuals in the population are aware of the need for self-protective behavior. We model simultaneous spread of an epidemic and information about the epidemic. The effects of adaptation, external information sources (e.g., media), and node-to-node communication on the dynamics of epidemic and information spreading are explored. In the second model, we study an adaptation mechanism in which people temporarily deactivate social contacts with infected neighbors but reactivate the connection once it is safe. We study the interaction between the infection spread and the geometry of the active subnetwork. For both models, we derive a mean field system of equations to predict the epidemic dynamics.

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