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Self-initiated behavioural change and disease resurgence on activity-driven networks

Gozzi, N., Scudeler, M., Paolotti, D. , Baronchelli, A. ORCID: 0000-0002-0255-0829 & Perra, N. (2021). Self-initiated behavioural change and disease resurgence on activity-driven networks. Physical Review E (PRE), 104(1), 014307. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevE.104.014307


We consider a population that experienced a first wave of infections, interrupted by strong, top-down, governmental restrictions and did not develop a significant immunity to prevent a second wave (i.e. resurgence). As restrictions are lifted, individuals adapt their social behaviour to minimize the risk of infection. We consider two scenarios. In the first, individuals reduce their overall social activity towards the rest of the population. In the second scenario, they maintain a normal social activity within a small community of peers (i.e., social bubble) while reducing social interactions with the rest of the population. In both cases, we consider possible correlations between social activity and behaviour change, reflecting for example the social dimension of certain occupations. We model these scenarios considering a Susceptible-Infected-Recovered epidemic model unfolding on activity-driven networks. Extensive analytical and numerical results show that i) a minority of very active individuals not changing behaviour may nullify the efforts of the large majority of the population, and ii) imperfect social bubbles of normal social activity may be less effective than an overall reduction of social interactions.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article has been published in Physical Review E, by American Physical Society. It can be found at:
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
R Medicine > RA Public aspects of medicine
Departments: School of Science & Technology > Mathematics
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