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Simulated epidemics in an empirical spatiotemporal network of 50,185 sexual contacts
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. (IceLab)
Stockholm University.
Umeå University, Faculty of Science and Technology, Department of Physics. (IceLab)ORCID iD: 0000-0003-2156-1096
2011 (English)In: PloS Computational Biology, ISSN 1553-734X, E-ISSN 1553-7358, Vol. 7, no 3, e1001109- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Sexual contact patterns, both in their temporal and network structure, can influence the spread of sexually transmitted infections (STI). Most previous literature has focused on effects of network topology; few studies have addressed the role of temporal structure. We simulate disease spread using SI and SIR models on an empirical temporal network of sexual contacts in high-end prostitution. We compare these results with several other approaches, including randomization of the data, classic mean-field approaches, and static network simulations. We observe that epidemic dynamics in this contact structure have well-defined, rather high epidemic thresholds. Temporal effects create a broad distribution of outbreak sizes, even if the per-contact transmission probability is taken to its hypothetical maximum of 100%. In general, we conclude that the temporal correlations of our network accelerate outbreaks, especially in the early phase of the epidemics, while the network topology (apart from the contact-rate distribution) slows them down. We find that the temporal correlations of sexual contacts can significantly change simulated outbreaks in a large empirical sexual network. Thus, temporal structures are needed alongside network topology to fully understand the spread of STIs. On a side note, our simulations further suggest that the specific type of commercial sex we investigate is not a reservoir of major importance for HIV.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. Vol. 7, no 3, e1001109- p.
National Category
Physical Sciences
Research subject
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-43120DOI: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001109OAI: diva2:411522
Swedish Research Council, 2009-3536
Available from: 2011-04-18 Created: 2011-04-18 Last updated: 2013-09-06Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Exploring patterns of empirical networks
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Exploring patterns of empirical networks
2011 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Alternative title[sv]
Utforska mönster av empiriska nätverk
Abstract [en]

We are constantly struggling to understand how nature works, trying to identify recurrent events and looking for analogies and relations between objects or individuals. Knowing patterns of behavior is powerful and fundamental for survival of any species. In this thesis, datasets of diverse systems related to transportation, economics, sexual and social contacts, are characterized by using the formalisms of time series and network theory. Part of the results consists on the collection and analyzes of original network data, the rest focuses on the simulation of dynamical processes on these networks and to study how they are affected by the particular structures. The majority of the thesis is about temporal networks, i.e. networks whose structure changes in time. The new temporal dimension reveals structural dynamical properties that help to understand the feedback mechanisms responsible to make the network structure to adapt and to understand the emergence and inhibition of diverse phenomena in dynamic systems, as epidemics in sexual and contact networks.

Abstract [sv]

Vi är ständigt kämpar för att förstå hur naturen fungerar, försöker identifier återkommande evenemang och söker analogier och relationer mellan objekt eller individer. Veta beteendemönster är kraftfull och grundläggande för överlevnad av arter. I denna avhandling, dataset av olika system i samband med transporter är ekonomi, sexuella och sociala kontakter, som kännetecknas av att använda formalismer av tidsserier och nätverk teori. En del av resultatet utgörs av insamling och analys av ursprungliga nätdata, fokuserar resten på simulering av dynamiska processer i dessa nätverk och att studera hur de påverkas av de särskilda strukturer. Huvuddelen av avhandlingen handlar om tidsmässiga nät, i.e. nät vars struktur förändringar i tid. Den nya tidsdimensionen avslöjar strukturella dynamiska egenskaper som hjälper till att förstå den feedback mekanismer som ansvarar för att göra nätverksstruktur att anpassa sig och förstå uppkomsten och hämning av olika företeelser i dynamiska system, epidemier i sexuella och kontaktnät.

Abstract [pt]

Constantemente nos esforçamos para entender como a natureza funciona, tentando identificar eventos recorrentes e procurando por analogias e relações entre objetos ou indivíduos. Conhecer padrões de comportamento é algo poderoso e fundamental para a sobrevivência de qualquer espécie. Nesta tese, dados de sistemas diversos, relacionados a transporte, economia, contatos sexuais e sociais, são caracterizados usando o formalismo de séries temporais e teoria de redes. Uma parte dos resultados consiste na coleta e análise de dados de redes originais, a outra parte concentra-se na simulação de processos dinâmicos nessas redes e no estudo de como esses processos são afetados por determinadas estruturas. A maior parte da tese é sobre redes temporais, ou seja, redes cuja estrutura varia no tempo. A nova dimensão temporal revela propriedades estruturais dinâmicas que contribuem para o entendimento dos mecanismos de resposta responsáveis pela adaptação da rede, e para o entendimento da emergência e inibição de fenômenos diversos em sistemas dinâmicos, como epidemias em redes sexuais e de contato pessoal.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Umeå: Umeå University, Department of Physics, 2011. 66 p.
complex systems, complex networks, network analysis, empirical networks, air transportation, consumer complaints, information technology, sexual contacts, epidemics, vaccination
National Category
Other Physics Topics Other Physics Topics Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology Computer and Information Science
Research subject
Physics; Statistics; Epidemiology; Economics
urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-46588 (URN)978-91-7459-241-2 (ISBN)
Public defence
2011-09-30, Naturvetarhuset, N300, Umeå universitet, Umeå, 13:30 (English)
Available from: 2011-09-08 Created: 2011-09-06 Last updated: 2011-09-08Bibliographically approved

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