Month: March 2020

Relevance of temporal cores for epidemic spread in temporal networks

Martino Ciaperoni, Edoardo Galimberti, Francesco Bonchi, Ciro Cattuto, Francesco Gullo, Alain Barrat


Temporal networks are widely used to represent a vast diversity of systems, including in particular social interactions, and the spreading processes unfolding on top of them. The identification of structures playing important roles in such processes remain an open question, despite recent progresses in the case of static networks. Here, we consider as candidate structures the recently introduced concept of span-cores: the span-cores decompose a temporal network into subgraphs of controlled duration and increasing connectivity, generalizing the core-decomposition of static graphs. We explore the effectiveness of strategies aimed either at containing or maximizing the impact of a spread, based respectively on removing span-cores of high cohesiveness or duration to decrease the epidemic risk, or on seeding the process from such structures. The effectiveness of such strategies is assessed in a variety of empirical data sets and against a number of baselines that use only static information on the centrality of nodes and static concepts of coreness. Our results show that the removal of the most stable and cohesive temporal cores has a strong impact on epidemic processes on temporal networks, and that their nodes are likely to represent influential spreaders.


Real-time Epidemic Datathon

Real-time Epidemic Datathon is a collective open-source real-time forecasting challenge aimed at joining forces to push modeling limits further for real-time epidemic forecasting at large scale. Organized by ETH Zürich, UCLA, EU SoBigData++ project, NYU COURANT, and other partner organizations. The goal of this project is to bring together researchers and students from different disciplines (e.g., computer science, epidemiology, physics, statistics, applied math, …) and advance real-time epidemic modeling frameworks. We provide a platform for scientific exchange and discussion. Participating teams can submit predictions of COVID-19 case evolutions in different countries and evaluate/compare their modeling approaches.

Who can join? Everyone can join and contribute in various ways: (i) register as a developer (individual or with a team) of a real-time epidemic forecasting model, (ii) register and monitor scientific developments (see our disclaimer section), or (iii) share the news about this event and help us to reach more contributors.


Functional and Social Team Dynamics in Industrial Settings

Dominic E. Saadi, Mark Sutcliffe, Yaneer Bar-Yam, and Alfredo J. Morales

Complexity Volume 2020 |Article ID 8301575


Like other social systems, corporations comprise networks of individuals that share information and create interdependencies among their actions. The properties of these networks are crucial to a corporation’s success. Understanding how individuals self-organize into teams and how this relates to performance is a challenge for managers and management software developers looking for ways to enhance corporate tasks. In this paper, we analyze functional and social communication networks from industrial production plants and relate their properties to performance. We use internal management software data that reveal aspects of functional and social communications among workers. We found that distinct features of functional and social communication networks emerge. The former are asymmetrical, and the latter are segregated by job title, i.e., executives, managers, supervisors, and operators. We show that performance is negatively correlated with the volume of functional communications but positively correlated with the density of the emerging communication networks. Exposing social dynamics in the workplace matters given the increasing digitization and automation of corporate tasks and managerial processes.


Age profile of susceptibility, mixing, and social distancing shape the dynamics of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 outbreak in China

Juanjuan Zhang, Maria Litvinova, Yuxia Liang, Yan Wang, Wei Wang, Shanlu Zhao, Qianhui Wu, Stefano Merler, Cecile Viboud, Alessandro Vespignani, Marco Ajelli, Hongjie Yu


Strict interventions were successful to control the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak in China. As transmission intensifies in other countries, the interplay between age, contact patterns, social distancing, susceptibility to infection and disease, and COVID-19 dynamics remains unclear. To answer these questions, we analyze contact surveys data for Wuhan and Shanghai before and during the outbreak and contact tracing information from Hunan Province. Daily contacts were reduced 7-9 fold during the COVID-19 social distancing period, with most interactions restricted to the household. Children 0-14 years were 59% (95% CI 7-82%) less susceptible than individuals 65 years and over. A transmission model calibrated against these data indicates that social distancing alone, as implemented in China during the outbreak, is sufficient to control COVID-19. While proactive school closures cannot interrupt transmission on their own, they reduce peak incidence by half and delay the epidemic. These findings can help guide global intervention policies.


To Adapt or Not to Adapt: A Quantification Technique for Measuring an Expected Degree of Self-Adaptation

Sven Tomforde and Martin Goller

Computers 2020, 9(1), 21


Self-adaptation and self-organization (SASO) have been introduced to the management of technical systems as an attempt to improve robustness and administrability. In particular, both mechanisms adapt the system’s structure and behavior in response to dynamics of the environment and internal or external disturbances. By now, adaptivity has been considered to be fully desirable. This position paper argues that too much adaptation conflicts with goals such as stability and user acceptance. Consequently, a kind of situation-dependent degree of adaptation is desired, which defines the amount and severity of tolerated adaptations in certain situations. As a first step into this direction, this position paper presents a quantification approach for measuring the current adaptation behavior based on generative, probabilistic models. The behavior of this method is analyzed in terms of three application scenarios: urban traffic control, the swidden farming model, and data communication protocols. Furthermore, we define a research roadmap in terms of six challenges for an overall measurement framework for SASO systems.