Title

What a Tangled Web We Weave: Epidemiological Modeling and Graph Theory

Authors

Patrick Dixon

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Abstract

Network theory has recently received renewed focus for its applications in modeling the spread of diseases. Drawing upon a recent sociological study on the structure of adolescent sexual networks, as well as on previous models, we constructed a model of the spread of sexually transmitted diseases based on an assumption of serial monogamy: that is, that members of the population are in one relationship at a time. As well, we incorporated systematic differences in transmission rates, based upon empirical data indicating that transmission from men to women is much more likely than the reverse. Breaking with previous models, we took a simulation-based approach, rather than an analytically- or differential equation-based solution. While the absence of precise data on transmission rates means that this model is of limited usefulness at the present time, its results seem to be largely in accord with previous models.

Advisor

Ramin Naimi

Department

math

Support

Howard Hughes Medical Institute Undergraduate Science Education Grant

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