- This event has passed.
Heterogeneous human mobility behavior and spatial spread of infectious diseases
12 September, 2013 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Title: Heterogeneous human mobility behavior and spatial spread of infectious diseases
Human mobility and interactions represent key ingredients in the spreading dynamics of an infectious disease. The flows of traveling people form a network characterized by complex features, such as strong topological and traffic heterogeneities, that unfolds at different temporal and spatial scales. Theoretical frameworks that consider reaction-diffusion processes on a network of populations are able to provide understandings on the interplay between individual mobility and epidemic dynamics. However the empirically observed heterogeneities in the frequency of travels and trip duration represents additional complex ingredients that may have a profound impact on the disease spread. Models studied till now are unable to address these aspects since they consider a homogenous population (in which people are characterized by the same behavior regarding traveling and interaction) and a markovian mobility process (in which the memory of the origin of traveling individuals is lost). Here we present a theoretical work that goes beyond the traditional approaches allowing us to account for the complex features of individual behavior, such as heterogeneous distributed trip durations and heterogeneous attitude regarding traveling. We show by means of analytical calculations and numerical simulations, that the degree of such heterogeneities crucially affects the global epidemic dynamics altering the ability of a disease to invade the system and to reach pandemic proportions.