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K-State Today

October 27, 2016

Division of Biology Seminar Oct. 28

By Division of Biology

Caterina Scoglio

Caterina Scoglio, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will present "Network-based Mathematical and Computational Models of Infectious Diseases" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 4 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, in 221 Ackert Hall.

In her presentation, Scoglio will first give an overview of her group's research in the field of network–based mathematical models of infectious diseases.

Scoglio also will present some recent simulation results on the use of network centrality measures to design mitigation strategies aiming at containing sexually transmitted infectious diseases.

A standard mitigation strategy–partner notification involves the notification of the infectious status of an individual to all his partners — neighbors in the sexual network. Through partner notification, sexual partners are informed of the high risk of being infected and take preventive measures.

Using the susceptible-alert-infected-susceptible, or SAIS, model of Sahneh et al., Scoglio's group shows the effectiveness of new notification strategies through extensive simulation. In these new strategies — in addition to notifying the partners of an infected individual about the infection state of the individual self — if the individual belongs to a small set of nodes with the highest network centrality, a message of increase risk of infection is sent to all nodes in the network. With this strategy, the infection prevalence can be reduced up to one-third if an alert message is sent when any node in a set of 3 percent of the total individuals is found infected.

These results suggest the development of an application for mobile phones to broadcast an anonymous alert message when central individuals are detected to be infected.

If you would like to visit with Scoglio, contact Tom Platt at tgplatt@k-state.edu