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Slightly Generalized Contagion: Unifying Simple Models of Biological and Social Spreading

  • Peter Sheridan Dodds
Chapter
Part of the Computational Social Sciences book series (CSS)

Abstract

We motivate and explore the basic features of generalized contagion, a model mechanism that unifies fundamental models of biological and social contagion. Generalized contagion builds on the elementary observation that spreading and contagion of all kinds involve some form of system memory. We discuss the three main classes of systems that generalized contagion affords, resembling: simple biological contagion; critical mass contagion of social phenomena; and an intermediate, and explosive, vanishing critical mass contagion. We also present a simple explanation of the global spreading condition in the context of a small seed of infected individuals.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Vermont Complex Systems Center, Computational Story Lab, the Vermont Advanced Computing Core, Department of Mathematics and StatisticsThe University of VermontBurlingtonUSA

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