Plausible models for propagation of the SARS virus

Michael Small, Pengliang Shi, Chi Kong Tse

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

31 Citations (Scopus)


Using daily infection data for Hong Kong we explore the validity of a variety of models of disease propagation when applied to the SARS epidemic. Surrogate data methods show that simple random models are insufficient and that the standard epidemic susceptible-infectedremoved model does not fully account for the underlying variability in the observed data. As an alternative, we consider a more complex small world network model and show that such a structure can be applied to reliably produce simulations quantitative similar to the true data. The small world network model not only captures the apparently random fluctuation in the reported data, but can also reproduce mini-outbreaks such as those caused by so-called "super-spreaders" and in the Hong Kong housing estate of Amoy Gardens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2379-2386
Number of pages8
JournalIEICE Transactions on Fundamentals of Electronics, Communications and Computer Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • Epidemic models
  • SARS
  • Small-world networks
  • Surrogates

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Signal Processing
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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