Leveraging social networks for understanding the evolution of epidemics Articles uri icon

publication date

  • December 2012


  • (Suppl 3):S14


  • 5

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1752-0509


  • To understand how infectious agents disseminate throughout a population it is essential to capture the social model in a realistic manner. This paper presents a novel approach to modeling the propagation of the influenza virus throughout a realistic interconnection network based on actual individual interactions which we extract from online social networks. The advantage is that these networks can be extracted from existing sources which faithfully record interactions between people in their natural environment. We additionally allow modeling the characteristics of each individual as well as customizing his daily interaction patterns by making them time-dependent. Our purpose is to understand how the infection spreads depending on the structure of the contact network and the individuals who introduce the infection in the population. This would help public health authorities to respond more efficiently to epidemics.