Inferring the origin of an epidemic with a dynamic message-passing algorithm

Andrey Y. Lokhov 1 Marc Mézard 1, 2 Hiroki Ohta 1 Lenka Zdeborová 3

Physical Review E, American Physical Society, 2014, 90, pp.012801

We study the problem of estimating the origin of an epidemic outbreak -- given a contact network and a snapshot of epidemic spread at a certain time, determine the infection source. Finding the source is important in different contexts of computer or social networks. We assume that the epidemic spread follows the most commonly used susceptible-infected-recovered model. We introduce an inference algorithm based on dynamic message-passing equations, and we show that it leads to significant improvement of performance compared to existing approaches. Importantly, this algorithm remains efficient in the case where one knows the state of only a fraction of nodes.

  • 1. LPTMS - Laboratoire de Physique Théorique et Modèles Statistiques
  • 2. ENS - Ecole Normale Supérieure
  • 3. IPHT - Institut de Physique Théorique (ex SPhT)