Immunization and Targeted Destruction of Networks using Explosive Percolation

Pau Clusella, Peter Grassberger, Francisco J. Perez-Reche, Antonio Politi

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74 Citations (Scopus)
36 Downloads (Pure)


A new method (“explosive immunization”) is proposed for immunization and targeted destruction of networks. It combines the explosive percolation (EP) paradigm with the idea of maintaining a fragmented distribution of clusters. The ability of each node to block the spread of an infection (or to prevent the existence of a large cluster of connected nodes) is estimated by a score. The algorithm proceeds by first identifying low score nodes that should not be vaccinated or destroyed, analogously to the links selected in EP if they do not lead to large clusters. As in EP, this is done by selecting the worst node (weakest blocker) from a finite set of randomly chosen “candidates.” Tests on several real-world and model networks suggest that the method is more efficient and faster than any existing immunization strategy. Because of the latter property it can deal with very large networks.
Original languageEnglish
Article number208301
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number20
Publication statusPublished - 8 Nov 2016

Bibliographical note

7 pages, 6 figures

The authors acknowledge financial support from the Leverhulme Trust (Grant No. VP2-2014-043) and from Horizon2020 (Grant No. 642563 - COSMOS).


  • physics.soc-ph
  • cond-mat.dis-nn
  • cs.SI


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