Public efforts to reduce disease transmission implied from a spatial game

James Burridge, Michal Gnacik

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One approach to understand people's efforts to reduce disease transmission, is to consider the effect of behaviour on case rates. In this paper we present a spatial infection-reducing game model of public behaviour, formally equivalent to a Hopfield neural network coupled to SIRS disease dynamics. Behavioural game parameters can be precisely calibrated to geographical time series of Covid-19 active case numbers, giving an implied spatial history of behaviour. This is used to investigate the effects of government intervention, quantify behaviour area by area, and measure the effect of wealth on behaviour. We also demonstrate how a delay in people's perception of risk levels can induce behavioural instability, and oscillations in infection rates.
Original languageEnglish
Article number126619
JournalPhysica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications
Early online date25 Nov 2021
Publication statusEarly online - 25 Nov 2021


  • spatial Models
  • statistical physics
  • games
  • disease
  • Covid-19
  • epidemiology
  • SIR
  • social distancing


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