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Health Care Management Science


Agent-based network modeling (ABNM) simulates each person at the individual-level as agents of the simulation, and uses network generation algorithms to generate the network of contacts between individuals. ABNM are suitable for simulating individual-level dynamics of infectious diseases, especially for diseases such as HIV that spread through close contacts within intricate contact networks. However, as ABNM simulates a scaled-version of the full population, consisting of all infected and susceptible persons, they are computationally infeasible for studying certain questions in low prevalence diseases such as HIV. We present a new simulation technique, agent-based evolving network modeling (ABENM), which includes a new network generation algorithm, Evolving Contact Network Algorithm (ECNA), for generating scale-free networks. ABENM simulates only infected persons and their immediate contacts at the individual-level as agents of the simulation, and uses the ECNA for generating the contact structures between these individuals. All other susceptible persons are modeled using a compartmental modeling structure. Thus, ABENM has a hybrid agent-based and compartmental modeling structure. The ECNA uses concepts from graph theory for generating scale-free networks. Multiple social networks, including sexual partnership networks and needle sharing networks among injecting drug-users, are known to follow a scale-free network structure. Numerical results comparing ABENM with ABNM estimations for disease trajectories of hypothetical diseases transmitted on scale-free contact networks are promising for application to low prevalence diseases.



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Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.