Optimal contact process on complex networks

Rui Yang, Tao Zhou, Yan Bo Xie, Ying-Cheng Lai, Bing Hong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Contact processes on complex networks are a recent subject of study in nonequilibrium statistical physics and they are also important to applied fields such as epidemiology and computer and communication networks. A basic issue concerns finding an optimal strategy for spreading. We provide a universal strategy that, when a basic quantity in the contact process dynamics, the contact probability determined by a generic function of its degree W (k), is chosen to be inversely proportional to the node degree, i.e., W (k) ∼ k-1, spreading can be maximized. Computation results on both model and real-world networks verify our theoretical prediction. Our result suggests the determining role played by small-degree nodes in optimizing spreading, in contrast to the intuition that hub nodes are important for spreading dynamics on complex networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number066109
JournalPhysical Review E - Statistical, Nonlinear, and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Statistical and Nonlinear Physics
  • Statistics and Probability
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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