Airborne disease propagation on large scale social contact networks

Md Shahzamal, Raja Jurdak, Reza Arablouei, Minkyoung Kim, Kanchana Thilakarathna, Bernard Mans

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Social sensing has received growing interest in a broad range of applications from business to health care. The potential benefits of modeling infectious disease spread through geo-tagged social sensing data has recently been demonstrated, yet it has not considered contagion events that can occur even when co-located individuals are no longer in physical contact, such as for capturing the dynamics of airborne diseases. In this study, we exploit the location updates made by 0.6 million users of the Momo social networking application to characterize airborne disease dynamics. Airborne diseases can transmit through infectious particles exhaled by the infected individuals. We introduce the concept of same-place different-time (SPDT) transmission to capture the persistent effect of airborne particles in their likelihood to spread a disease. Because the survival duration of these infectious particles is dependent on environmental conditions, we investigate through large-scale simulations the effects of three parameters on SPDT-based disease diffusion: the air exchange rate in the proximity of infected individuals, the infectivity decay rates of pathogen particles, and the infection probability of inhaled particles. Our results confirm a complex interplay between the underlying contact network dynamics and these parameters, and highlight the predictive potential of social sensing for epidemic outbreaks.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSocialSens 2017
Subtitle of host publicationproceedings: 2017 2nd International Workshop on Social Sensing
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781450349772
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventSocialSens 2017: the 2nd International Workshop on Social Sensing - Pittsburgh, United States
Duration: 21 Apr 201721 Apr 2017


WorkshopSocialSens 2017
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Social sensing
  • contact network
  • infectious disease spreading
  • human movement


Dive into the research topics of 'Airborne disease propagation on large scale social contact networks'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this