BioND — Dynamics of Biological Networks

Dynamics of epidemic diseases on a growing adaptive network

Güven Demirel, Edmund Barter, and Thilo Gross
Scientific Reports 7, 42352, 2017.



The study of epidemics on static networks has revealed important effects on disease prevalence of network topological features such as the variance of the degree distribution, i.e. the distribution of the number of neighbors of nodes, and the maximum degree. Here, we analyze an adaptive network where the degree distribution is not independent of epidemics but is shaped through disease-induced dynamics and mortality in a complex interplay. We study the dynamics of a network that grows according to a preferential attachment rule, while nodes are simultaneously removed from the network due to disease-induced mortality. We investigate the prevalence of the disease using individual-based simulations and a heterogeneous node approximation. Our results suggest that in this system in the thermodynamic limit no epidemic thresholds exist, while the interplay between network growth and epidemic spreading leads to exponential networks for any finite rate of infectiousness when the disease persists.