Researchers have developed a new immunization strategy that requires up to 50% fewer immunization doses compared with the current most efficient strategy. The new strategy could be used to prevent the spread of human epidemics and computer viruses, and it applies to a wide variety of networks.
The new method, called the “equal graph partitioning” (EGP) immunization strategy, is being proposed by a team of scientists from Boston University, Bar-Ilan University in Ramat-Gan, Israel, and Stockholm University. Their study is published in a recent issue of Physical Review Letters.
In real life, the number of immunization doses is often limited or very expensive, so a strategy that requires the fewest doses could be very useful. As the researchers explain, the question of how to immunize a network with a minimum number of doses is mathematically equivalent to asking how to fragment a network with a minimum number of node removals.
In this sense, the new EGP strategy works differently than the conventional “targeted strategy.” The main idea of the targeted strategy is to rank the importance of nodes based on how well-connected they are. Then, nodes are removed, starting with those of highest importance, until the network becomes fragmented. In the adaptive targeted strategy, node importance is recalculated after each iteration.
The main idea of the EGP method, on the other hand, is to fragment the network into many connected clusters of equal size. By creating equal-size clusters, doses don’t have to be “wasted” on isolating very small clusters, as in the targeted strategy.Excerpt from PhysOrg - Read full article