Interdisciplinary Seminar in Nonlinear Science

Title: Models of Social and Biological Contagion
Speaker: Dr. P. S. Dodds
Speaker Info: Columbia University
Brief Description:
Special Note: More current information may be available at Plan-it Purple

I will first discuss extensions of simple models of disease and social influence spreading that we have developed in order to address (1) epidemic size distributions, (2) resurgence of caseload number in epidemics, (3) the effect network structure has on the spread of social influence, and (4) how different response functions affect spread including those leading to chaotic behavior. I will then present a model of contagion that unifies and generalizes existing models of the spread of social influences and infectious diseases. Our generalized model incorporates individual memory of exposure to a contagious entity (e.g., a rumor or disease), variable magnitudes of exposure (dose sizes), and heterogeneity in the susceptibility of individuals. Through analysis of our model, we identify three basic classes of contagion models which we call epidemic threshold, vanishing critical mass, and critical mass respectively. Finally, I will discuss results from Musiclab, from our latest online sociological experiment, which systematically explores how people follow each other in making decisions regarding cultural objects.
Date: Friday, February 10, 2006
Time: 2:00PM
Where: Tech M416
Contact Person: Mary Catsicopoulos
Contact email: maryc@northwestern.edu
Contact Phone: 847-491-5586
Copyright © 1997-2024 Department of Mathematics, Northwestern University.