Volume 82, Number 3, May 2008
Article Number 38002
Number of page(s) 4
Section Interdisciplinary Physics and Related Areas of Science and Technology
Published online 16 April 2008
EPL, 82 (2008) 38002
DOI: 10.1209/0295-5075/82/38002

Disease spreading in populations of moving agents

A. Buscarino1, L. Fortuna1, M. Frasca1 and V. Latora2

1  Dipartimento di Ingegneria Elettrica, Elettronica e dei Sistemi, Università degli Studi di Catania Viale A. Doria 6, 95125 Catania, Italy, EU
2  Dipartimento di Fisica e Astronomia, Università di Catania and INFN, Sezione di Catania Via S. Sofia, 64, 95123 Catania, Italy, EU

received 10 December 2007; accepted in final form 8 March 2008; published May 2008
published online 16 April 2008

We study the effect of motion on disease spreading in a system of random walkers which additionally perform long-distance jumps. A small percentage of jumps in the agent motion is sufficient to destroy the local correlations and to produce a large drop in the epidemic threshold, that we explain in terms of a mean-field approximation. This effect is similar to the crossover found in static small-world networks, and can be furthermore linked to the structural properties of the dynamical network of agent interactions.

89.75.Hc - Networks and genealogical trees.
89.75.-k - Complex systems.
87.23.Ge - Dynamics of social systems.

© EPLA 2008