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SOCNET  July 2001

SOCNET July 2001

Subject:

Re: network topology of the AIDS epidemic

From:

"Jim \"GrimJim\" W Lai" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Jim "GrimJim" W Lai

Date:

Tue, 24 Jul 2001 15:11:27 -0500

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TEXT/PLAIN (37 lines)

On Mon, 23 Jul 2001, Valdis wrote:
> Can we stop the AIDS epidemic by focusing on the high degree Hubs in the
> network?

I agree with the others who have followed up. We must be careful not to
let the constraints or focus of a model overly constrain our possible
avenues of attack.

I hope this isn't inappropriate, but off the cuff I see value in a
physical analogy of networks. I have no URLs to cite, sadly.

Networks - corresponds to pipes, interconnected between nodes.
Infection - corresponds to fluid transported by pipes.

Fluid flow volume over time through a node is trivially as follows:

        cross-section X velocity X density

where
        cross-section = proportionate to connectivity
        velocity = proportionate to frequency of transmission
        density = proprotionate to effectiveness of transmission

The model suggests three points of attack to stem flow, aside from the
elimination of nodes in the network.

        minimize cross-section: high connectivity hubs
        minimize velocity: numerically common vectors
        minimize density: high risk infectivity vectors

Prevention efforts should attack all three, depending on which is most
effective. There is no a priori one best attack mode from this model.
From the model, one should be able to demonstrate the effectiveness of
each method of attack individually, but a combined picture gives a more
accurate assessment of the situation.

Jim Lai

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