Advances on Epidemics in Complex Networks

Date: 31 August - 1 September 2017

Location: Snijderszaal, Faculty EEMCS, Delft University of Technology, The Netherlands.

Aim of the workshop

This workshop aims to join researchers from different fields who investigate the interplay between epidemic diffusion processes and the structural and dynamic properties of the contact networks over which these processes spread.

The evolution from the classical epidemic models of the early 20th century - which were compartmental, deterministic and density-driven - to the sophisticated contemporary models - which describe the stochastic evolution of the epidemics at the level of individuals - is akin to the emergence of statistical mechanics from thermodynamics. This evolution has been triggered by the increasing importance of understanding, controlling and even designing diffusion mechanisms over social, biological and online media platforms.

The most recognizable aspect of contemporary mathematical epidemiology is the employment of networks to model the connectivity patterns of the host population. In the most realistic models, these networks - as their real-world counterparts - present the distinguishing features of complex systems, such as hierarchical structures and self-organization. The fundamental problem lies in understanding how these network features impact the behavior of the epidemics.

Being by nature interdisciplinary, the study of epidemics on networks has developed fragmentarily over different communities (probabilists, applied mathematicians, physicists, computer scientists and others). Achievements in a single of these communities is not always known to the others, undermining the progress of the field and sometimes duplicating research. We propose to bridge this gap by inviting leading specialists from different communities in a discussion-intensive context.