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Epidemic contact tracing via communication traces

Epidemic contact tracing via communication traces
Epidemic contact tracing via communication traces
Traditional contact tracing relies on knowledge of the interpersonal network of physical interactions, where contagious outbreaks propagate. However, due to privacy constraints and noisy data assimilation, this network is generally difficult to reconstruct accurately. Communication traces obtained by mobile phones are known to be good proxies for the physical interaction network, and they may provide a valuable tool for contact tracing. Motivated by this assumption, we propose a model for contact tracing, where an infection is spreading in the physical interpersonal network, which can never be fully recovered; and contact tracing is occurring in a communication network which acts as a proxy for the first. We apply this dual model to a dataset covering 72 students over a 9 month period, for which both the physical interactions as well as the mobile communication traces are known. Our results suggest that a wide range of contact tracing strategies may significantly reduce the final size of the epidemic, by mainly affecting its peak of incidence. However, we find that for low overlap between the face-to-face and communication interaction network, contact tracing is only efficient at the beginning of the outbreak, due to rapidly increasing costs as the epidemic evolves. Overall, contact tracing via mobile phone communication traces may be a viable option to arrest contagious outbreaks.
1932-6203
1-11
Farrahi, Katayoun
bc848b9c-fc32-475c-b241-f6ade8babacb
Emonet, Remi
e8a7f19c-73f2-4470-a5da-7d2462cbec10
Cebrian, Manuel
404d441b-bbd1-4549-8f4a-3084b495f7ca
Farrahi, Katayoun
bc848b9c-fc32-475c-b241-f6ade8babacb
Emonet, Remi
e8a7f19c-73f2-4470-a5da-7d2462cbec10
Cebrian, Manuel
404d441b-bbd1-4549-8f4a-3084b495f7ca

Farrahi, Katayoun, Emonet, Remi and Cebrian, Manuel (2014) Epidemic contact tracing via communication traces. PLoS ONE, 9 (5), 1-11. (doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095133).

Record type: Article

Abstract

Traditional contact tracing relies on knowledge of the interpersonal network of physical interactions, where contagious outbreaks propagate. However, due to privacy constraints and noisy data assimilation, this network is generally difficult to reconstruct accurately. Communication traces obtained by mobile phones are known to be good proxies for the physical interaction network, and they may provide a valuable tool for contact tracing. Motivated by this assumption, we propose a model for contact tracing, where an infection is spreading in the physical interpersonal network, which can never be fully recovered; and contact tracing is occurring in a communication network which acts as a proxy for the first. We apply this dual model to a dataset covering 72 students over a 9 month period, for which both the physical interactions as well as the mobile communication traces are known. Our results suggest that a wide range of contact tracing strategies may significantly reduce the final size of the epidemic, by mainly affecting its peak of incidence. However, we find that for low overlap between the face-to-face and communication interaction network, contact tracing is only efficient at the beginning of the outbreak, due to rapidly increasing costs as the epidemic evolves. Overall, contact tracing via mobile phone communication traces may be a viable option to arrest contagious outbreaks.

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epidemic contact - Version of Record
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.
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More information

Accepted/In Press date: 24 March 2014
Published date: 1 May 2014

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 419705
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/419705
ISSN: 1932-6203
PURE UUID: c6b666b7-d473-4d49-9b66-86c1460e3ffc

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Date deposited: 19 Apr 2018 16:30
Last modified: 18 Nov 2019 18:14

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Contributors

Author: Katayoun Farrahi
Author: Remi Emonet
Author: Manuel Cebrian

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