Virus Propagation on Time-Varying Networks: Theory and Immunization Algorithms


Given a contact network that changes over time (say, day vs night connectivity), and the SIS (susceptible/infected/susceptible, flu like) virus propagation model, what can we say about its epidemic threshold? That is, can we determine when a small infection will “take-off” and create an epidemic? Consequently then, which nodes should we immunize to prevent an epidemic? This is a very real problem, since, e.g. people have different connections during the day at work, and during the night at home. Static graphs have been studied for a long time, with numerous analytical results. Time-evolving networks are so hard to analyze, that most existing works are simulation studies [5]. Specifically, our contributions in this paper are: (a) we formulate the problem by approximating it by a Non-linear Dynamical system (NLDS), (b) we derive the first closed formula for the epidemic threshold of time-varying graphs under the SIS model, and finally (c) we show the usefulness of our threshold by presenting efficient heuristics and evaluate the effectiveness of our methods on synthetic and real data like the MIT reality mining graphs.

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