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New publication on the use of human mobility proxies for the modeling of epidemics May 27, 2014

A new paper about the use of human mobility proxies in epidemic models has been published in PLOS Computational Biology.

In the manuscript, we explore the opportunity of using proxies for individual mobility to describe commuting flows and predict the diffusion of an influenza-like-illness epidemic. We consider three European countries and the corresponding commuting networks at different resolution scales, obtained from official census surveys, proxy mobility data extracted from mobile phone call records, and the radiation model calibrated with census data. Metapopulation models defined on these countries and integrating the different mobility layers are compared in terms of epidemic observables.

We found that commuting networks from mobile phone data well capture the empirical commuting patterns, accounting for more than 87% of the total fluxes. The distributions of commuting fluxes per link from mobile phones and census sources are similar and highly correlated, however a systematic overestimation of commuting traffic in the mobile phone data is observed. This leads to epidemics that spread faster than on census commuting networks, once the mobile phone commuting network is considered in the epidemic model, however preserving to a high degree the order of infection of newly affected locations. Proxies’ calibration affects the arrival times’ agreement across different models, and the observed topological and traffic discrepancies among mobility sources alter the resulting epidemic invasion patterns.

To read the complete work, you can read the full paper:

On the use of human mobility proxy for the modeling of epidemics.
M Tizzoni, P Bajardi,  A Decuyper, G Kon Kam King, CM Schneider, V Blondel, Z Smoreda, MC González  and V Colizza PLOS Computational Biology 10(7): e1003716


invasion treesThe Figure shows the full invasion trees for R0=3 for Portugal (top row) and France (bottom row) in the cases of the census network (a, d), the mobile phone network (b, e) and the radiation network (c, f). Seeds of the simulations (black nodes) are Lisbon for Portugal and Barcelonnette for France. Nodes belonging to the first shell of the tree, i.e. those directly infected from the seed are fully colored. Grey nodes have been infected by secondary infected nodes.