New publication in Physical Review Letters

The latest contribution of Dynamica has just been published in Physical Review Letters, entitled Universal Nonlinear Infection Kernel from Heterogeneous Exposure on Higher-Order Networks. This is the result of an international collaboration between Dynamica members (Guillaume St-Onge, Antoine Allard, and Laurent Hébert-Dufresne) and researchers from Queen Mary University of London (Hanlin Sun and Ginestra Bianconi).

The article brings a new perspective on contagion dynamics: people attend various environments of different sizes, and this is through interactions with infected people that they accumulate a certain infective dose. The authors combine this higher-order network representation with heterogeneous temporal patterns and the concept of a minimal infective dose to develop the infection. They find that the probability of becoming infected through an environment is a nonlinear function of the number of infected people attending the environment. Interestingly, this nonlinear function as a universal power-law form. Under this nonlinear infection probability, conventional epidemic wisdom breaks down with the emergence of discontinuous transitions, superexponential spread, and hysteresis.

A press release of the paper is available on Links to the full text and preprints are available on the publication page.