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Sant'Ambrogio di Torino, Italy

Gemmetto V.,Data Science Laboratory | Barrat A.,Data Science Laboratory | Barrat A.,Aix - Marseille University | Cattuto C.,Data Science Laboratory
BMC Infectious Diseases | Year: 2014

Background: School environments are thought to play an important role in the community spread of infectious diseases such as influenza because of the high mixing rates of school children. The closure of schools has therefore been proposed as an efficient mitigation strategy. Such measures come however with high associated social and economic costs, making alternative, less disruptive interventions highly desirable. The recent availability of high-resolution contact network data from school environments provides an opportunity to design models of micro-interventions and compare the outcomes of alternative mitigation measures. Methods and results: We model mitigation measures that involve the targeted closure of school classes or grades based on readily available information such as the number of symptomatic infectious children in a class. We focus on the specific case of a primary school for which we have high-resolution data on the close-range interactions of children and teachers. We simulate the spread of an influenza-like illness in this population by using an SEIR model with asymptomatics, and compare the outcomes of different mitigation strategies. We find that targeted class closure affords strong mitigation effects: closing a class for a fixed period of time - equal to the sum of the average infectious and latent durations - whenever two infectious individuals are detected in that class decreases the attack rate by almost 70% and significantly decreases the probability of a severe outbreak. The closure of all classes of the same grade mitigates the spread almost as much as closing the whole school. Conclusions: Our model of targeted class closure strategies based on readily available information on symptomatic subjects and on limited information on mixing patterns, such as the grade structure of the school, shows that these strategies might be almost as effective as whole-school closure, at a much lower cost. This may inform public health policies for the management and mitigation of influenza-like outbreaks in the community. © Barrat and Cattuto; licensee BioMed Central.

Gauvin L.,Data Science Laboratory | Panisson A.,Data Science Laboratory | Cattuto C.,Data Science Laboratory | Barrat A.,Aix - Marseille University | Barrat A.,University of Toulon
Scientific Reports | Year: 2013

Dynamical processes on time-varying complex networks are key to understanding and modeling a broad variety of processes in socio-technical systems. Here we focus on empirical temporal networks of human proximity and we aim at understanding the factors that, in simulation, shape the arrival time distribution of simple spreading processes. Abandoning the notion of wall-clock time in favour of node-specific clocks based on activity exposes robust statistical patterns in the arrival times across different social contexts. Using randomization strategies and generative models constrained by data, we show that these patterns can be understood in terms of heterogeneous inter-event time distributions coupled with heterogeneous numbers of events per edge. We also show, both empirically and by using a synthetic dataset, that significant deviations from the above behavior can be caused by the presence of edge classes with strong activity correlations.

Pachucki M.C.,Harvard University | Ozer E.J.,University of California at Berkeley | Barrat A.,Aix - Marseille University | Barrat A.,Data Science Laboratory | Cattuto C.,Data Science Laboratory
Social Science and Medicine | Year: 2015

How are social interaction dynamics associated with mental health during early stages of adolescence? The goal of this study is to objectively measure social interactions and evaluate the roles that multiple aspects of the social environment - such as physical activity and food choice - may jointly play in shaping the structure of children's relationships and their mental health. The data in this study are drawn from a longitudinal network-behavior study conducted in 2012 at a private K-8 school in an urban setting in California. We recruited a highly complete network sample of sixth-graders (n=40, 91% of grade, mean age=12.3), and examined how two measures of distressed mental health (self-esteem and depressive symptoms) are positionally distributed in an early adolescent interaction network. We ascertained how distressed mental health shapes the structure of relationships over a three-month period, adjusting for relevant dimensions of the social environment. Cross-sectional analyses of interaction networks revealed that self-esteem and depressive symptoms are differentially stratified by gender. Specifically, girls with more depressive symptoms have interactions consistent with social inhibition, while boys' interactions suggest robustness to depressive symptoms. Girls higher in self-esteem tended towards greater sociability. Longitudinal network behavior models indicate that gender similarity and perceived popularity are influential in the formation of social ties. Greater school connectedness predicts the development of self-esteem, though social ties contribute to more self-esteem improvement among students who identify as European-American. Cross-sectional evidence shows associations between distressed mental health and students' network peers. However, there is no evidence that connected students' mental health status becomes more similar in their over time because of their network interactions. These findings suggest that mental health during early adolescence may be less subject to mechanisms of social influence than network research in even slightly older adolescents currently indicates. © 2014.

Starnini M.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia | Baronchelli A.,Northeastern University | Barrat A.,Aix - Marseille University | Barrat A.,Data Science Laboratory | Pastor-Satorras R.,Polytechnic University of Catalonia
Physical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics | Year: 2012

Many natural and artificial networks evolve in time. Nodes and connections appear and disappear at various time scales, and their dynamics has profound consequences for any processes in which they are involved. The first empirical analysis of the temporal patterns characterizing dynamic networks are still recent, so that many questions remain open. Here, we study how random walks, as a paradigm of dynamical processes, unfold on temporally evolving networks. To this aim, we use empirical dynamical networks of contacts between individuals, and characterize the fundamental quantities that impact any general process taking place upon them. Furthermore, we introduce different randomizing strategies that allow us to single out the role of the different properties of the empirical networks. We show that the random walk exploration is slower on temporal networks than it is on the aggregate projected network, even when the time is properly rescaled. In particular, we point out that a fundamental role is played by the temporal correlations between consecutive contacts present in the data. Finally, we address the consequences of the intrinsically limited duration of many real world dynamical networks. Considering the fundamental prototypical role of the random walk process, we believe that these results could help to shed light on the behavior of more complex dynamics on temporally evolving networks. © 2012 American Physical Society.

Mastrandrea R.,Aix - Marseille University | Fournet J.,Aix - Marseille University | Barrat A.,Aix - Marseille University | Barrat A.,Data Science Laboratory
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

Given their importance in shaping social networks and determining how information or transmissible diseases propagate in a population, interactions between individuals are the subject of many data collection efforts. To this aim, different methods are commonly used, ranging from diaries and surveys to decentralised infrastructures based on wearable sensors. These methods have each advantages and limitations but are rarely compared in a given setting. Moreover, as surveys targeting friendship relations might suffer less from memory biases than contact diaries, it is interesting to explore how actual contact patterns occurring in day-to-day life compare with friendship relations and with online social links. Here we make progresses in these directions by leveraging data collected in a French high school and concerning (i) face-to-face contacts measured by two concurrent methods, namely wearable sensors and contact diaries, (ii) self-reported friendship surveys, and (iii) online social links.We compare the resulting data sets and find that most short contacts are not reported in diaries while long contacts have a large reporting probability, and that the durations of contacts tend to be overestimated in the diaries. Moreover, measured contacts corresponding to reported friendship can have durations of any length but all long contacts do correspond to a reported friendship. On the contrary, online links that are not also reported in the friendship survey correspond to short face-to-face contacts, highlighting the difference of nature between reported friendships and online links. Diaries and surveys suffer moreover from a low sampling rate, as many students did not fill them, showing that the sensor-based platform had a higher acceptability.We also show that, despite the biases of diaries and surveys, the overall structure of the contact network, as quantified by the mixing patterns between classes, is correctly captured by both networks of self-reported contacts and of friendships, and we investigate the correlations between the number of neighbors of individuals in the three networks. Overall, diaries and surveys tend to yield a correct picture of the global structural organization of the contact network, albeit with much less links, and give access to a sort of backbone of the contact network corresponding to the strongest links, i.e., the contacts of longest cumulative durations. © 2015 Mastrandrea et al.This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

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