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How Viruses Spread among Computers and People

Alun Lloyd, Robert May
Science, New Series, Vol. 292, No. 5520. (May 18, 2001), pp. 1316-1317.
ISSN 0036-8075
May 2001

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The Internet and the world wide web (WWW) play an ever greater part in our lives. Only relatively recently, however, have researchers begun to study how the patterns of connectivity in these networks affect the spread of computer viruses within them (1, 2) and their ability to handle perturbation or attack (3). Many models for communication can be formulated in terms of networks, in which nodes represent individuals (such as computers, web pages, people, or species) and edges represent possible contacts between individuals (network links, hyperlinks, social or sexual contact, and species interactions). The study of communication networks therefore has interesting parallels both with conventional epidemiology (4, 5) and with the ability of ecosystems to handle disturbances.

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