Standard epidemic models exhibit one continuous, second order phase transition to macroscopic outbreaks. However, interventions to control outbreaks may fundamentally alter epidemic dynamics. Here we reveal how such interventions modify the type of phase transition. In particular, we uncover three distinct types of explosive phase transitions for epidemic dynamics with capacity-limited interventions. Depending on the capacity limit, interventions may (i) leave the standard second order phase transition unchanged but exponentially suppress the probability of large outbreaks, (ii) induce a first-order discontinuous transition to macroscopic outbreaks, or (iii) cause a secondary explosive yet continuous third-order transition. These insights highlight inherent limitations in predicting and containing epidemic outbreaks. More generally our study offers a cornerstone example of a third-order explosive phase transition in complex systems.
Journal of Physics: Complexity
We acknowledge support from the Volkswagen Foundation under Grant No. 99720 and the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) under Grant No. 16ICR01. This research was supported by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy—EXC-2068—390729961—Cluster of Excellence Physics of Life of TU Dresden.
Börner G, Schröder M, Scarselli D, Budanur NB, Hof B, Timme M. Explosive transitions in epidemic dynamics. Journal of Physics: Complexity. 2022;3(4). doi:10.1088/2632-072x/ac99cd
Börner, G., Schröder, M., Scarselli, D., Budanur, N. B., Hof, B., & Timme, M. (2022). Explosive transitions in epidemic dynamics. Journal of Physics: Complexity. IOP Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1088/2632-072x/ac99cd
Börner, Georg, Malte Schröder, Davide Scarselli, Nazmi B Budanur, Björn Hof, and Marc Timme. “Explosive Transitions in Epidemic Dynamics.” Journal of Physics: Complexity. IOP Publishing, 2022. https://doi.org/10.1088/2632-072x/ac99cd.
G. Börner, M. Schröder, D. Scarselli, N. B. Budanur, B. Hof, and M. Timme, “Explosive transitions in epidemic dynamics,” Journal of Physics: Complexity, vol. 3, no. 4. IOP Publishing, 2022.
Börner G, Schröder M, Scarselli D, Budanur NB, Hof B, Timme M. 2022. Explosive transitions in epidemic dynamics. Journal of Physics: Complexity. 3(4), 04LT02.
Börner, Georg, et al. “Explosive Transitions in Epidemic Dynamics.” Journal of Physics: Complexity, vol. 3, no. 4, 04LT02, IOP Publishing, 2022, doi:10.1088/2632-072x/ac99cd.
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