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Natural ComplexityA Modeling Handbook$
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Paul Charbonneau

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780691176840

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691176840.001.0001

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(p.198) 9 Epidemics
Natural Complexity

Paul Charbonneau

Princeton University Press

This chapter examines the complex nature of the epidemic spread of contagious diseases. It first describes the model of epidemic spread constructed by adding random walks on a lattice to the forest-fire model before discussing the implementation of the epidemic “algorithm” using a minimal Python code. It then considers a representative simulation showing a time series of the number of infected and healthy random walkers, along with the behavior of the epidemic spread model and the dynamic self-organization of epidemic surges around a marginal infection rate of exactly unity. It also explores the scale invariance of a small-world network connecting twelve nodes. The chapter includes exercises and further computational explorations, along with a suggested list of materials for further reading.

Keywords:   epidemic spread, contagious diseases, random walk, lattice, Python code, self-organization, infection rate, scale invariance, small-world network, epidemic surges

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