[Nature Human Behaviour 4, 964–971 (2020)] Modeling the impact of testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second waves of COVID-19



While severe social-distancing measures have proven effective in slowing the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, second-wave scenarios are likely to emerge as restrictions are lifted. Here we integrate anonymized, geolocalized mobility data with census and demographic data to build a detailed agent-based model of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) transmission in the Boston metropolitan area. We find that a period of strict social distancing followed by a robust level of testing, contact-tracing, and household quarantine could keep the disease within the capacity of the healthcare system while enabling the reopening of economic activities. Our results show that a response system based on enhanced testing and contact tracing can have a major role in relaxing social-distancing interventions in the absence of herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2.


COVID-19 Boston


Alberto Aleta, David Martin-Corral, Ana Pastore y Piontti, Marco Ajelli, Maria Litvinova, Matteo Chinazzi, Natalie E. Dean, M. Elizabeth Halloran, Ira M. Longini Jr., Stefano Merler, Alex Pentland, Alessandro Vespignani, Esteban Moro, and Yamir Moreno, “Modeling the impact of testing, contact tracing and household quarantine on second waves of COVID-19”, Nature Human Behaviour 4, 964–971 (2020).

[BMC Medicine 18:157 (2020)] Evaluation of the potential incidence of COVID-19 and effectiveness of contention measures in Spain: a data-driven approach



Background: We are currently experiencing an unprecedented challenge, managing and containing an outbreak of a new coronavirus disease known as COVID-19. While China—where the outbreak started—seems to have been able to contain the growth of the epidemic, different outbreaks are nowadays present in multiple countries. Nonetheless, authorities have taken action and implemented containment measures, even if not everything is known.

Methods: To facilitate this task, we have studied the effect of different containment strategies that can be put into effect. Our work referred initially to the situation in Spain as of February 28, 2020, where a few dozens of cases had been detected but it has been updated to match the current situation as of 13 April. We implemented an SEIR metapopulation model that allows tracing explicitly the spatial spread of the disease through data-driven stochastic simulations.

Results: Our results are in line with the most recent recommendations from the World Health Organization, namely, that the best strategy is the early detection and isolation of individuals with symptoms, followed by interventions and public recommendations aimed at reducing the transmissibility of the disease, which, although might not be sufficient for disease eradication, would produce as a second-order effect a delay of several days in the raise of the number of infected cases.

Conclusions: Many quantitative aspects of the natural history of the disease are still unknown, such as the amount of possible asymptomatic spreading or the role of age in both the susceptibility and mortality of the disease. However, preparedness plans and mitigation interventions should be ready for quick and efficacious deployment globally. The scenarios evaluated here through data-driven simulations indicate that measures aimed at reducing individuals’ flow are much less effective than others intended for early case identification and isolation. Therefore, resources should be directed towards detecting as many and as fast as possible the new cases and isolate them.


COVID-19 Spain


Alberto Aleta, and Yamir Moreno, “Evaluation of the potential incidence of COVID-19 and effectiveness of contention measures in Spain: a data-driven approach”, BMC Medicine 18:157 (2020).

[New Book] Multiplex Networks: Basic Formalism and Structural Properties



This book provides the basis of a formal language and explores its possibilities in the characterization of multiplex networks. Armed with the formalism developed, the authors define structural metrics for multiplex networks. A methodology to generalize monoplex structural metrics to multiplex networks is also presented so that the reader will be able to generalize other metrics of interest in a systematic way. Therefore, this book will serve as a guide for the theoretical development of new multiplex metrics. Furthermore, this Brief describes the spectral properties of these networks in relation to concepts from algebraic graph theory and the theory of matrix polynomials. The text is rounded off by analyzing the different structural transitions present in multiplex systems as well as by a brief overview of some representative dynamical processes. Multiplex Networks will appeal to students, researchers, and professionals within the fields of network science, graph theory, and data science.


Multilayer Networks


E. Cozzo, G. Ferraz de Arruda, F. A. Rodrigues, and Y. Moreno, “Multiplex Networks: Basic Formalism and Structural Properties”, Monograph Springer Briefs in Complexity, ISBN 978-3-319-92255-3 (2018).