Optimal contact process on complex networks

Rui Yang, Tao Zhou, Yan-Bo Xie, Ying-Cheng Lai, Bing-Hong Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


Contact processes on complex networks are a recent subject of study in nonequilibrium statistical physics and they are also important to applied fields such as epidemiology and computer and communication networks. A basic issue concerns finding an optimal strategy for spreading. We provide a universal strategy that, when a basic quantity in the contact process dynamics, the contact probability determined by a generic function of its degree W(k), is chosen to be inversely proportional to the node degree, i.e., W(k)similar to k(-1), spreading can be maximized. Computation results on both model and real-world networks verify our theoretical prediction. Our result suggests the determining role played by small-degree nodes in optimizing spreading, in contrast to the intuition that hub nodes are important for spreading dynamics on complex networks.

Original languageEnglish
Article number066109
Number of pages5
JournalPhysical Review. E, Statistical, Nonlinear and Soft Matter Physics
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • identical infectivity
  • lattice


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