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      Epidemic processes in complex networks

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          Abstract

          In recent years the research community has accumulated overwhelming evidence for the emergence of complex and heterogeneous connectivity patterns in a wide range of biological and sociotechnical systems. The complex properties of real-world networks have a profound impact on the behavior of equilibrium and nonequilibrium phenomena occurring in various systems, and the study of epidemic spreading is central to our understanding of the unfolding of dynamical processes in complex networks. The theoretical analysis of epidemic spreading in heterogeneous networks requires the development of novel analytical frameworks, and it has produced results of conceptual and practical relevance. A coherent and comprehensive review of the vast research activity concerning epidemic processes is presented, detailing the successful theoretical approaches as well as making their limits and assumptions clear. Physicists, mathematicians, epidemiologists, computer, and social scientists share a common interest in studying epidemic spreading and rely on similar models for the description of the diffusion of pathogens, knowledge, and innovation. For this reason, while focusing on the main results and the paradigmatic models in infectious disease modeling, the major results concerning generalized social contagion processes are also presented. Finally, the research activity at the forefront in the study of epidemic spreading in coevolving, coupled, and time-varying networks is reported.

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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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            The Strength of Weak Ties

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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 is found to be a consequence of the two generic mechanisms that networks expand continuously by the addition of new vertices, and new vertices attach preferentially to already well connected sites. A model based on these two ingredients reproduces the observed stationary scale-free distributions, indicating 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
                2014-08-12
                2015-09-18
                1408.2701 10.1103/RevModPhys.87.925

                http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

                Custom metadata
                Rev. Mod. Phys. 87, 925 (2015)
                62 pages, 15 figures, final version
                physics.soc-ph cond-mat.stat-mech cs.SI q-bio.PE

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