DIMACS
DIMACS REU [2012]

General Information

Student: James Fei Xue
Office: CoRE 450
School: [Rutgers University - New Brunswick]
E-mail: jxue923@gmail.com
Project: Dynamics Networks and Disease

Project Description

Classical models of disease spread uses the SIR model, which assumed the individuals in the population mixes evenly. However, more recent insights have shown that the structure of the connections or network of the individuals make a significant impact on the dynamics of disease propagation. In the model I am working with, individuals are represented as nodes in a direction graph or a digraph. Individuals choose 5 friends to associate with, but changes 2 friends every time step. Their choice determined by 3 network centrality measures: popularity, centrality, and betweenness of the nodes around them. A disease is initiated in a particular time step and the propagation and the population centrality measures are determined. Running the model for 200 time steps, we seek to find possible mechanics of disease spread and possible thresholds that determine the severity of an outbreak.


Weekly Log

Week 1:
I arrived at DIMACS and met with lab group to decide on my project topic. I subsequently performed on the initial presentation of the project.
Week 2:
I read papers relating to project and met with Graduate advisor to get a better idea of the direction of the project.
Week 3:
I met with Brad and decided to look at the model from a macroparasite infection perspective. I examined the code more closely to determine which parts I need to alter to fit the new scenario and began working to adapt existing model to macroparasites. The infectious state in the new model takes on a range of values rather than just 0 or 1 as in the previous model, thus I am working on finalizing how to implement this aspect into the code.
Week 4:
The first group meeting with Nina occurred this week and we decided on the meeting plans for the next few weeks. Research-wise, I have been learning Java and looking at the Java simulation code and have obtained an overall idea of how I am to implement the disease model.
Week 5:
I continued to learn java and practiced programming simple programs. I made progress in understanding the current model code and have identified the majority of variables I need to change in my rendition of the model.
Week 6:
I worked on the research paper after refining and finalizing what variables to include and what relationships to ultimately look for in the model. Going to finish Java programming in the next few days and hopefully run simulations next week.
Week 7:
The primary focus of this week has been the final presentation and the report. I have also continued to debug the program.
Week 8:
This week was spent working on the final report. This was a great REU and I'm definitely glad that I had the opportunity to work with some great people


Additional Information