Where is the connection between computer virus and the spreading of human disease?

The spreading of a virus within networks, such as social or computer networks, is a big matter of interest and became an issue over the last couple years due to globalization. Computer viruses are mostly transmitted through the electronic mail, which usually arrive as an attachment, being activated through the user. Once the virus has reached access to the computer, it copies itself and spreads to the contacts from the computer infected. From the process of spreading a computer virus we can also draw conclusions about the distribution of human diseases. The big advantage of any electronically virus is that we are able to backtrack the source and  to analyze the networks dynamics. Through a computer virus we can draw conclusions about the spreading of human diseases, which are usually much harder to track, since we are living in a very dynamic world where contact between humans happens very easily travelling around the world. The most significant difference between a computer virus and the spreading of human diseases is that in order to install a virus on the computer, users need to open the attached file first. A disease might not require this step, which shows the serious and problematic difference between both networks. Nevertheless, only analyzing the accessible information helps us to conclude how an infection of  human networks takes place and which possible actions might need to be taken. Since we are talking about at very complex and dynamic process, following a computer virus helps us to get some infrastructural idea of the human network, even though the conditions are quite different. As an example, the speed of a computer virus is much higher, but then also the barrier of the virus installment makes a difference in the observation. Overall, it is useful to work with the data of a computer virus which might helps to make essential decisions in an emergency case of a human disease spreading.

source: http://pre.aps.org.libproxy.temple.edu/pdf/PRE/v66/i3/e035101

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One thought on “Where is the connection between computer virus and the spreading of human disease?”

  1. In analogizing computer viruses and human disease, I think you might actually be able to account for the need for a user to open a computer virus in a way that makes it an unproblematic difference. When we discuss disease epidemics, we have to treat contraction of the disease in a probabilistic manner. Just because someone comes in contact with the disease, that doesn’t mean they will catch it; differences in people’s immune systems and hygiene make some more likely than others to catch a disease, and we account for this as a probability, a variable that runs from 0 to 1.

    You could treat the potential for a person to open a computer virus the same way, account for it under that probabilistic variable. In that way, you could use a very similar mathematical description.

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