Suppression of epidemic spreading in complex networks by local information based behavioral responses

Hai-Feng Zhang, Jia-Rong Xie, Ming Tang, Ying-Cheng Lai

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106 Citations (Scopus)
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The interplay between individual behaviors and epidemic dynamics in complex networks is a topic of recent interest. In particular, individuals can obtain different types of information about the disease and respond by altering their behaviors, and this can affect the spreading dynamics, possibly in a significant way. We propose a model where individuals’ behavioral response is based on a generic type of local information, i.e., the number of neighbors that has been infected with the disease. Mathematically, the response can be characterized by a reduction in the transmission rate by a factor that depends on the number of infected neighbors. Utilizing the standard susceptibleinfected-susceptible and susceptible-infected-recovery dynamical models for epidemic spreading, we derive a theoretical formula for the epidemic threshold and provide numerical verification. Our
analysis lays on a solid quantitative footing the intuition that individual behavioral response can in general suppress epidemic spreading. Furthermore, we find that the hub nodes play the role of “double-edged sword” in that they can either suppress or promote outbreak, depending on their responses to the epidemic, providing additional support for the idea that these nodes are key to controlling epidemic spreading in complex networks. VC 2014 AIP Publishing LLC.
Original languageEnglish
Article number043106
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2014

Bibliographical note

This work was funded by the National Natural Science
Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 61473001, 11105025, and
11331009) and the Doctoral Research Foundation of Anhui
University (Grant No. 02303319). Y.C.L. was supported by
AFOSR under Grant No. FA9550-10-1-0083.


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