Efficient immunization strategies for computer networks and populations

Phys Rev Lett. 2003 Dec 12;91(24):247901. doi: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.91.247901. Epub 2003 Dec 9.


We present an effective immunization strategy for computer networks and populations with broad and, in particular, scale-free degree distributions. The proposed strategy, acquaintance immunization, calls for the immunization of random acquaintances of random nodes (individuals). The strategy requires no knowledge of the node degrees or any other global knowledge, as do targeted immunization strategies. We study analytically the critical threshold for complete immunization. We also study the strategy with respect to the susceptible-infected-removed epidemiological model. We show that the immunization threshold is dramatically reduced with the suggested strategy, for all studied cases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Computer Communication Networks*
  • Immunization
  • Internet
  • Models, Theoretical*