Modeling Infection with Multi-agent Dynamics

  • Wen Dong
  • Katherine Heller
  • Alex (Sandy) Pentland
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7227)


Developing the ability to comprehensively study infections in small populations enables us to improve epidemic models and better advise individuals about potential risks to their health. We currently have a limited understanding of how infections spread within a small population because it has been difficult to closely track and infection within a complete community. This paper presents data closely tracking the spread of an infection centered on a student dormitory, collected by leveraging the residents’ use of cellular phones. This data is based on daily symptom surveys taken over a period of four months and proximity tracking through cellular phones. We demonstrate that using a Bayesian, discrete-time multi-agent model of infection to model the real-world symptom report and proximity tracking records can give us important insights about infections in small populations


human dynamics living lab stochastic process multi-agent modeling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wen Dong
    • 1
  • Katherine Heller
    • 2
  • Alex (Sandy) Pentland
    • 1
  1. 1.MIT Media LaboratoryUSA
  2. 2.Department of Brain and Cognitive SciencesMITUSA

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