Interplay of Strategic Decision Making and Spread of Epidemics on Networks


Infectious diseases or epidemics spread through human society via social interactions among infected and healthy individuals while individuals limit their interaction to avoid becoming infected. In this work, we investigate the dynamic and coupled evolution of strategic behavior and epidemic. In the first part of the talk, we will focus on the class of susceptible-infected-susceptible (SIS) epidemic model in the framework of activity-driven networks with heterogeneous node degrees and time-varying activation rates and derive both individual- and degree- based mean-field approximations of the exact state evolution. We then present a game-theoretic model where nodes choose their activation probabilities in a strategic manner using current state information as feedback, characterize the quantal response equilibrium (QRE) of the proposed setting and analyze epidemic evolution in closed-loop. In the second part of the talk, we consider the replicator evolutionary dynamics to model the evolution of protection decisions by susceptible and infected subpopulations. We completely characterize the existence and local stability of the equilibria of the resulting coupled epidemic and replicator dynamics. We further show how the stability of different equilibrium points get exchanged as certain parameters change. Finally, we investigate the system behavior under timescale separation between the epidemic and the evolutionary dynamics.

The Speaker

Ashish R. Hota received the B.Tech. and M.Tech. degrees (dual degree) from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, Kharagpur, India, in 2012, and the Ph.D. from Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN, USA, in 2017, all in Electrical Engineering. He was a Postdoctoral Researcher with the Automatic Control Laboratory, ETH Zurich in 2018. He is currently an Assistant Professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, IIT Kharagpur. He received the Outstanding Graduate Researcher Award from the College of Engineering, Purdue University in 2017, and the Institute Silver Medal from IIT Kharagpur in 2012. His research interests are in the areas of game theory and behavioral decision theory, stochastic optimization, control and learning, and resilience and security of network systems.