Spreading dynamics following bursty human activity patterns

Byungjoon Min, K. I. Goh, Alexei Vazquez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Citations (Scopus)


We study the susceptible-infected model with power-law waiting time distributions P(τ)∼τ-α, as a model of spreading dynamics under heterogeneous human activity patterns. We found that the average number of new infections n(t) at time t decays as a power law in the long-time limit, n(t)∼t-β, leading to extremely slow prevalence decay. We also found that the exponent in the spreading dynamics β is related to that in the waiting time distribution α in a way depending on the interactions between agents but insensitive to the network topology. These observations are well supported by both the theoretical predictions and the long prevalence decay time in real social spreading phenomena. Our results unify individual activity patterns with macroscopic collective dynamics at the network level.

Original languageEnglish
Article number036102
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Mar 7

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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