The coevolution of contagion and behavior with increasing and decreasing awareness

Autoři: Samira Maghool aff001;  Nahid Maleki-Jirsaraei aff001;  Marco Cremonini aff002
Působiště autorů: Complex Systems Laboratory, Physics Department, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran aff001;  Department of Social and Political Sciences, University of Milan, Milan, Italy aff002
Vyšlo v časopise: PLoS ONE 14(12)
Kategorie: Research Article
doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0225447


Understanding the effects of individual awareness on epidemic phenomena is important to comprehend the coevolving system dynamic, to improve forecasting, and to better evaluate the outcome of possible interventions. In previous models of epidemics on social networks, individual awareness has often been approximated as a generic personal trait that depends on social reinforcement, and used to introduce variability in state transition probabilities. A novelty of this work is to assume that individual awareness is a function of several contributing factors pooled together, different by nature and dynamics, and to study it for different epidemic categories. This way, our model still has awareness as the core attribute that may change state transition probabilities. Another contribution is to study positive and negative variations of awareness, in a contagion-behavior model. Imitation is the key mechanism that we model for manipulating awareness, under different network settings and assumptions, in particular regarding the degree of intentionality that individuals may exhibit in spreading an epidemic. Three epidemic categories are considered—disease, addiction, and rumor—to discuss different imitation mechanisms and degree of intentionality. We assume a population with a heterogeneous distribution of awareness and different response mechanisms to information gathered from the network. With simulations, we show the interplay between population and awareness factors producing a distribution of state transition probabilities and analyze how different network and epidemic configurations modify transmission patterns.

Klíčová slova:

Addiction – Agent-based modeling – Behavior – Behavioral addiction – Health education and awareness – Infectious disease epidemiology – Infectious disease modeling – Population dynamics


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