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      Epidemic Spreading in Scale-Free Networks

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      Physical Review Letters

      American Physical Society (APS)

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          Abstract

          The Internet has a very complex connectivity recently modeled by the class of scale-free networks. This feature, which appears to be very efficient for a communications network, favors at the same time the spreading of computer viruses. We analyze real data from computer virus infections and find the average lifetime and persistence of viral strains on the Internet. We define a dynamical model for the spreading of infections on scale-free networks, finding the absence of an epidemic threshold and its associated critical behavior. This new epidemiological framework rationalizes data of computer viruses and could help in the understanding of other spreading phenomena on communication and social networks.

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          Most cited references 16

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          Collective dynamics of 'small-world' networks.

          Networks of coupled dynamical systems have been used to model biological oscillators, Josephson junction arrays, excitable media, neural networks, spatial games, genetic control networks and many other self-organizing systems. Ordinarily, the connection topology is assumed to be either completely regular or completely random. But many biological, technological and social networks lie somewhere between these two extremes. Here we explore simple models of networks that can be tuned through this middle ground: regular networks 'rewired' to introduce increasing amounts of disorder. We find that these systems can be highly clustered, like regular lattices, yet have small characteristic path lengths, like random graphs. We call them 'small-world' networks, by analogy with the small-world phenomenon (popularly known as six degrees of separation. The neural network of the worm Caenorhabditis elegans, the power grid of the western United States, and the collaboration graph of film actors are shown to be small-world networks. Models of dynamical systems with small-world coupling display enhanced signal-propagation speed, computational power, and synchronizability. In particular, infectious diseases spread more easily in small-world networks than in regular lattices.
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            On the properties of small-world network models

             A Barrat,  M Weigt (2000)
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              Emergence of Scaling in Random Networks

              Systems as diverse as genetic networks or the World Wide Web are best described as networks with complex topology. A common property of many large networks is that the vertex connectivities follow a scale-free power-law distribution. This feature was found to be a consequence of two generic mechanisms: (i) networks expand continuously by the addition of new vertices, and (ii) new vertices attach preferentially to sites that are already well connected. A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, which indicates that the development of large networks is governed by robust self-organizing phenomena that go beyond the particulars of the individual systems.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                PRLTAO
                Physical Review Letters
                Phys. Rev. Lett.
                American Physical Society (APS)
                0031-9007
                1079-7114
                April 2001
                April 2 2001
                : 86
                : 14
                : 3200-3203
                Article
                10.1103/PhysRevLett.86.3200
                11290142
                © 2001
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