Individual versus cluster recoveries within a spatially structured population

L. Belhadji, N. Lanchier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Stochastic modeling of disease dynamics has had a long tradition. Among the first epidemic models including a spatial structure in the form of local interactions is the contact process. In this article we investigate two extensions of the contact process describing the course of a single disease within a spatially structured human population distributed in social clusters. That is, each site of the d-dimensional integer lattice is occupied by a cluster of individuals; each individual can be healthy or infected. The evolution of the disease depends on three parameters, namely the outside infection rate which models the interactions between the clusters, the within infection rate which takes into account the repeated contacts between individuals in the same cluster, and the size of each social cluster. For the first model, we assume cluster recoveries, while individual recoveries are assumed for the second one. The aim is to investigate the existence of nontrivial stationary distributions for both processes depending on the value of each of the three parameters. Our results show that the probability of an epidemic strongly depends on the recovery mechanism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-422
Number of pages20
JournalAnnals of Applied Probability
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Cluster recovery
  • Contact process
  • Epidemic models
  • Individual recovery
  • Random walk
  • Rescaling argument
  • Richardson's model

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistics and Probability
  • Statistics, Probability and Uncertainty


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