Modeling interaction between individuals, social networks and public policy to support public health epidemiology
Human behavior, social networks, and civil infrastructure are closely intertwined. Understanding their co-evolution is critical for designing public policies. Human behaviors and day-to-day activities of individuals create dense social interactions that provide a perfect fabric for fast disease propagation. Conversely, people's behavior in response to public policies and their perception of the crisis can dramatically alter normally stable social interactions. Effective planning and response strategies must take these complicated interactions into account. The basic problem can be modeled as a coupled co-evolving graph dynamical system and can also be viewed as partially observable Markov decision process. As a way to overcome the computational hurdles, we describe an High Performance Computing oriented computer simulation to study this class of problems. Our method provides a novel way to study the co-evolution of human behavior and disease dynamics in very large, realistic social networks with over 100 Million nodes and 6 Billion edges.