Synergy in Spreading Processes: From Exploitative to Explorative Foraging Strategies

Francisco J. Perez-Reche, Jonathan J. Ludlam, Sergei N. Taraskin, Christopher A. Gilligan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

43 Citations (Scopus)


An epidemiological model which incorporates synergistic effects that allow the infectivity and/or susceptibility of hosts to be dependent on the number of infected neighbors is proposed. Constructive synergy induces an exploitative behavior which results in a rapid invasion that infects a large number of hosts. Interfering synergy leads to a slower and sparser explorative foraging strategy that traverses larger distances by infecting fewer hosts. The model can be mapped to a dynamical bond percolation with spatial correlations that affect the mechanism of spread but do not influence the critical behavior of epidemics.

Original languageEnglish
Article number218701
Number of pages4
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number21
Early online date24 May 2011
Publication statusPublished - 27 May 2011


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