Systematic Approximations to Susceptible-Infectious-Susceptible Dynamics on Networks

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Network-based infectious disease models have been highly effective in elucidating the role of contact structure in the spread of infection. As such, pair- and neighbourhood-based approximation models have played a key role in linking findings from network simulations to standard (random-mixing) results. Recently, for SIR-type infections (that produce one epidemic in a closed population) on locally tree-like networks, these approximations have been shown to be exact. However, network models are ideally suited for Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs) due to the greater level of detail available for sexual contact networks, and these diseases often possess SIS-type dynamics. Here, we consider the accuracy of three systematic approximations that can be applied to arbitrary disease dynamics, including SIS behaviour. We focus in particular on low degree networks, in which the small number of neighbours causes build-up of local correlations between the state of adjacent nodes that are challenging to capture. By examining how and when these approximation models converge to simulation results, we generate insights into the role of network structure in the infection dynamics of SIS-type infections.

Bibliographical metadata

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)e1005296
JournalPL o S Computational Biology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2016

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