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  1. Abstract

    Despite a number of successful approaches in predicting the spatiotemporal patterns of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and quantifying the effectiveness of non-pharmaceutical interventions starting from data about the initial outbreak location, we lack an intrinsic understanding as outbreak locations shift and evolve. Here, we fill this gap by developing a country distance approach to capture the pandemic’s propagation backbone tree from a complex airline network with multiple and evolving outbreak locations. We apply this approach, which is analogous to the effective resistance in series and parallel circuits, to examine countries’ closeness regarding disease spreading and evaluate the effectivenessmore »of travel restrictions on delaying infections. In particular, we find that 63.2% of travel restrictions implemented as of 1 June 2020 are ineffective. The remaining percentage postponed the disease arrival time by 18.56 days per geographical area and resulted in a total reduction of 13,186,045 infected cases. Our approach enables us to design optimized and coordinated travel restrictions to extend the delay in arrival time and further reduce more infected cases while preserving air travel.

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  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 20, 2023
  3. Percolation theory is essential for understanding disease transmission patterns on the temporal mobility networks. However, the traditional approach of the percolation process can be inefficient when analysing a large-scale, dynamic network for an extended period. Not only is it time-consuming but it is also hard to identify the connected components. Recent studies demonstrate that spatial containers restrict mobility behaviour, described by a hierarchical topology of mobility networks. Here, we leverage crowd-sourced, large-scale human mobility data to construct temporal hierarchical networks composed of over 175 000 block groups in the USA. Each daily network contains mobility between block groups within a Metropolitanmore »Statistical Area (MSA), and long-distance travels across the MSAs. We examine percolation on both levels and demonstrate the changes of network metrics and the connected components under the influence of COVID-19. The research reveals the presence of functional subunits even with high thresholds of mobility. Finally, we locate a set of recurrent critical links that divide components resulting in the separation of core MSAs. Our findings provide novel insights into understanding the dynamical community structure of mobility networks during disruptions and could contribute to more effective infectious disease control at multiple scales. This article is part of the theme issue ‘Data science approaches to infectious disease surveillance’.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 10, 2023
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2023
  5. Research has documented increasing partisan division and extremist positions that are more pronounced among political elites than among voters. Attention has now begun to focus on how polarization might be attenuated. We use a general model of opinion change to see if the self-reinforcing dynamics of influence and homophily may be characterized by tipping points that make reversibility problematic. The model applies to a legislative body or other small, densely connected organization, but does not assume country-specific institutional arrangements that would obscure the identification of fundamental regularities in the phase transitions. Agents in the model have initially random locations inmore »a multidimensional issue space consisting of membership in one of two equal-sized parties and positions on 10 issues. Agents then update their issue positions by moving closer to nearby neighbors and farther from those with whom they disagree, depending on the agents’ tolerance of disagreement and strength of party identification compared to their ideological commitment to the issues. We conducted computational experiments in which we manipulated agents’ tolerance for disagreement and strength of party identification. Importantly, we also introduced exogenous shocks corresponding to events that create a shared interest against a common threat (e.g., a global pandemic). Phase diagrams of political polarization reveal difficult-to-predict transitions that can be irreversible due to asymmetric hysteresis trajectories. We conclude that future empirical research needs to pay much closer attention to the identification of tipping points and the effectiveness of possible countermeasures.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 7, 2022
  6. Abstract Many systems may switch to an undesired state due to internal failures or external perturbations, of which critical transitions toward degraded ecosystem states are prominent examples. Resilience restoration focuses on the ability of spatially-extended systems and the required time to recover to their desired states under stochastic environmental conditions. The difficulty is rooted in the lack of mathematical tools to analyze systems with high dimensionality, nonlinearity, and stochastic effects. Here we show that nucleation theory can be employed to advance resilience restoration in spatially-embedded ecological systems. We find that systems may exhibit single-cluster or multi-cluster phases depending on theirmore »sizes and noise strengths. We also discover a scaling law governing the restoration time for arbitrary system sizes and noise strengths in two-dimensional systems. This approach is not limited to ecosystems and has applications in various dynamical systems, from biology to infrastructural systems.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  7. Abstract Major disasters such as extreme weather events can magnify and exacerbate pre-existing social disparities, with disadvantaged populations bearing disproportionate costs. Despite the implications for equity and emergency planning, we lack a quantitative understanding of how these social fault lines translate to different behaviours in large-scale emergency contexts. Here we investigate this problem in the context of Hurricane Harvey, using over 30 million anonymized GPS records from over 150,000 opted-in users in the Greater Houston Area to quantify patterns of disaster-inflicted relocation activities before, during, and after the shock. We show that evacuation distance is highly homogenous across individuals frommore »different types of neighbourhoods classified by race and wealth, obeying a truncated power-law distribution. Yet here the similarities end: we find that both race and wealth strongly impact evacuation patterns, with disadvantaged minority populations less likely to evacuate than wealthier white residents. Finally, there are considerable discrepancies in terms of departure and return times by race and wealth, with strong social cohesion among evacuees from advantaged neighbourhoods in their destination choices. These empirical findings bring new insights into mobility and evacuations, providing policy recommendations for residents, decision-makers, and disaster managers alike.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  8. Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2022
  9. Abstract Despite the advances in discovering new nuclei, modeling microscopic nuclear structure, nuclear reactors, and stellar nucleosynthesis, we still lack a systemic tool, such as a network approach, to understand the structure and dynamics of over 70 thousands reactions compiled in JINA REACLIB. To this end, we develop an analysis framework, under which it is simple to know which reactions generally are possible and which are not, by counting neutrons and protons incoming to and outgoing from any target nucleus. Specifically, we assemble here a nuclear reaction network in which a node represents a nuclide, and a link represents amore »direct reaction between nuclides. Interestingly, the degree distribution of nuclear network exhibits a bimodal distribution that significantly deviates from the common power-law distribution of scale-free networks and Poisson distribution of random networks. Based on the dynamics from the cross section parameterizations in REACLIB, we surprisingly find that the distribution is universal for reactions with a rate below the threshold, λ < e − T γ , where T is the temperature and γ ≈ 1.05. Moreover, we discover three rules that govern the structure pattern of nuclear reaction network: (i) reaction-type is determined by linking choices, (ii) network distances between the reacting nuclides on 2D grid of Z vs N of nuclides are short, and (iii) each node in- and out-degrees are close to each other. By incorporating these three rules, our model universally unveils the underlying nuclear reaction patterns hidden in a large and dense nuclear reaction network regardless of nuclide chart expansions. It enables us to predict missing links that represent possible new nuclear reactions not yet discovered.« less