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Disease Dynamics on Small-World and Other Networks

In 1998 Watts and Strogatz introduced the concepts of small-world networks and in the process expanded our views of computer, social, and biological networks. In this project, we built epidemics on small world and other networks. Epidemic outbreaks of communicable and sexually transmitted diseases are modeled on small-world and two-node networks, respectively. The results of simulations are compared to those obtained from homogeneous mixing (mean field) epidemic models. Scaling relationships between transmission rates for epidemics on small-world, random and homogeneous mixing populations are established empirically. The transmission dynamics of gonorrhea in heterosexually active populations with multiple partners is used to illustrate the spread of disease on two-node networks. Strategies for disease control are explored.

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Gerardo Chowell-Puente, Cornell University
Fabio Sanchez, Cornell University
Project supervisors:
Juan P. Aparicio, Universidad de Belgrano, Argentina
Carlos Castillo-Chávez, Cornell University