Impact of Network Spatial Configuration on the Direction of Disease Dispersion

Authors: Shiran Zhong*, SUNY - Buffalo, Ling Bian, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Topics: Geographic Information Science and Systems, Medical and Health Geography, Temporal GIS
Keywords: spatial networks, infectious diseases
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 10:00 AM / 11:40 AM
Room: Bayside C, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Communicable diseases usually disperse along certain directions in space. Much research has focused on how the network structure can affect the spread of the disease and influence the design of optimal control strategies. Few studies have been concerned with how the underlying spatial configuration of networks affects the direction of disease dispersion. Understanding such mechanisms can help policymakers develop spatially oriented intervention strategies for communities at risk. We propose a spatial-network index, which incorporates the underlying spatial configuration into network topology, to identify locations that determine the direction of disease dispersion. We evaluate the efficacy of a spatially oriented intervention strategy based on the index through a series of simulated epidemics. Results demonstrate that the index is able to identify locations that critically affect the direction of disease dispersion. In comparison to a classic network intervention approach, our spatially oriented intervention strategy has a higher efficacy in mitigating disease dispersion, with respect to the number of locations protected and the number of cases reduced.

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