Modeling epidemics dynamics on heterogenous networks

Yossi Ben-Zion, Yahel Cohen, Nadav M. Shnerb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The dynamics of the SIS process on heterogenous networks, where different local communities are connected by airlines, is studied. We suggest a new modeling technique for travelers movement, in which the movement does not affect the demographic parameters characterizing the metapopulation. A solution to the deterministic reaction-diffusion equations that emerges from this model on a general network is presented. A typical example of a heterogenous network, the star structure, is studied in detail both analytically and using agent-based simulations. The interplay between demographic stochasticity, spatial heterogeneity and the infection dynamics is shown to produce some counterintuitive effects. In particular it was found that, while movement always increases the chance of an outbreak, it may decrease the steady-state fraction of sick individuals. The importance of the modeling technique in estimating the outcomes of a vaccination campaign is demonstrated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)197-204
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Theoretical Biology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 21 May 2010


  • Disease models
  • Dispersal
  • Individual-based models
  • Population dynamics
  • Star network
  • Stochasticity


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