Efficient sentinel surveillance strategies for preventing epidemics on networks

TitleEfficient sentinel surveillance strategies for preventing epidemics on networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsColman, E, Holme, P, Sayama, H, Gershenson, C
JournalPLOS Computational Biology
Date Published11

Author summary In a network of individuals susceptible to some infectious disease, what are the best locations to monitor in order to detect the infection before most damage can be done? In this paper we address this question by considering various heuristic strategies for sentinel placement that can potentially be implemented in real-world situations without requiring excessive amounts of computation, or even having perfect data about the structure of the network. We find that strategies that attempt to distribute sentinels over different regions of the network perform best in highly modular or spatially embedded networks, whereas the strategy of targeting the most well connected individuals works best when there is a considerable amount of contact heterogeneity between individuals. Our results may be used as a guideline to help decide when certain strategies should, or should not, be implemented.