DIMACS Computational and Mathematical Epidemiology Seminar Series

Title: The impact of non-Poisson contact processes on virus spreading

Speaker: Alexei Vazquez, Department of Physics and Center for Complex Network Research University of Notre Dame

Date: January 24, 2005 2:30 - 3:45 pm**

Location: DIMACS Center, CoRE Bldg, Room 431, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ


Halting an epidemic outbreak in its early stages requires a detailed understanding of the contact dynamics between the agents capable of carrying the pathogen. While current epidemic models assume that agents interact at a uniform rate, following a Poisson process, we provide evidence that for several computer and biological viruses the inter contact time distribution is heavy tailed. This non-Poisson contact dynamics results in a lengthy subexponential pre-outbreak regime, preceding the exponential growth in the number of infected agents. The temporal inhomogeneity of the observed contact dynamics affects both the nature of the fluctuations in the pre-outbreak regime, as well as the immunization rate necessary to halt the outbreak, indicating that the timing of the contacts plays a hitherto unsuspected role in epidemic modeling.

Presentation Slides

**Please note new time will be 2:30 - 3:45 on Mondays for the spring seminar series