This chapter examines the complex nature of the epidemic spread of contagious diseases. It first describes the model of epidemic spread constructed by adding random walks on a lattice to the forest-fire model before discussing the implementation of the epidemic “algorithm” using a minimal Python code. It then considers a representative simulation showing a time series of the number of infected and healthy random walkers, along with the behavior of the epidemic spread model and the dynamic self-organization of epidemic surges around a marginal infection rate of exactly unity. It also explores the scale invariance of a small-world network connecting twelve nodes. The chapter includes exercises and further computational explorations, along with a suggested list of materials for further reading.
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