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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin - Mathematisch-Naturwissen­schaft­liche Fakultät - International Research Training Group 1740

F Iannelli, A Koher, D Brockmann, P Hövel, and I M Sokolov (2017)

Effective distances for epidemics spreading on complex networks

Physical Review E, 95(1):012313.

We show that the recently introduced logarithmic metrics used to predict disease arrival times on complex networks are approximations of more general network-based measures derived from random walks theory. Using the daily air-traffic transportation data we perform numerical experiments to compare the infection arrival time with this alternative metric that is obtained by accounting for multiple walks instead of only the most probable path. The comparison with direct simulations of arrival times reveals a higher correlation compared to the shortest path approach used previously. In addition our method allows to connect fundamental observables in epidemic spreading with the cumulant generating function of the hitting time for a Markov chain. Our results provides a general and computationally efficient approach to the problem using only algebraic methods.