Activity dynamics in virtual networks: an epidemic model vs an excitable medium model

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Epidemic models are widely used to mimic social activity, such as spreading of rumors or panic. Simultaneously, models of excitable media are traditionally used to simulate the propagation of activity. Spreading of activity in the virtual community was simulated within two models: the SIRS epidemic model and the Wiener – Rosenblut model of the excitable media. We used network versions of these models. The network was assumed to be heterogeneous, namely, each element of the network has an individual set of characteristics, which corresponds to different psychological types of community members. The structure of a virtual network relies on an appropriate scale-free network. Modeling was carried out on scale-free networks with various values of the average degree of vertices. Additionally, a special case was considered, namely, a complete graph corresponding to a close professional group, when each member of the group interacts with each. Participants in a virtual community can be in one of three states: 1) potential readiness to accept certain information; 2) active interest to this information; 3) complete indifference to this information. These states correspond to the conditions that are usually used in epidemic models: 1) susceptible to infection, 2) infected, 3) refractory (immune or death due to disease). A comparison of the two models showed their similarity both at the level of main assumptions and at the level of possible modes. Distribution of activity over the network is similar to the spread of infectious diseases. It is shown that activity in virtual networks may experience fluctuations or decay.

Keywords: Wiener – Rosenblueth model, SIRS model, cellular automaton, scale-free network, excitable medium, epidemics modeling, delay differential equations
Citation in English: Shinyaeva T.S. Activity dynamics in virtual networks: an epidemic model vs an excitable medium model // Computer Research and Modeling, 2020, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 1485-1499
Citation in English: Shinyaeva T.S. Activity dynamics in virtual networks: an epidemic model vs an excitable medium model // Computer Research and Modeling, 2020, vol. 12, no. 6, pp. 1485-1499
DOI: 10.20537/2076-7633-2020-12-6-1485-1499

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