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Impact of Heterogeneous Human Activities on Epidemic Spreading

  • Yang, Zimo
  • Cui, Ai-Xiang
  • Zhou, Tao
Published Article
Publication Date
Jun 17, 2011
Submission Date
Jun 17, 2011
DOI: 10.1016/j.physa.2011.06.068
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Recent empirical observations suggest a heterogeneous nature of human activities. The heavy-tailed inter-event time distribution at population level is well accepted, while whether the individual acts in a heterogeneous way is still under debate. Motivated by the impact of temporal heterogeneity of human activities on epidemic spreading, this paper studies the susceptible-infected model on a fully mixed population, where each individual acts in a completely homogeneous way but different individuals have different mean activities. Extensive simulations show that the heterogeneity of activities at population level remarkably affects the speed of spreading, even though each individual behaves regularly. Further more, the spreading speed of this model is more sensitive to the change of system heterogeneity compared with the model consisted of individuals acting with heavy-tailed inter-event time distribution. This work refines our understanding of the impact of heterogeneous human activities on epidemic spreading.

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