A unified prediction of computer virus spread in connected networks

Lora Billings, William M. Spears, Ira B. Schwartz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

95 Scopus citations


We derive two models of viral epidemiology on connected networks and compare results to simulations. The differential equation model easily predicts the expected long term behavior by defining a boundary between survival and extinction regions. The discrete Markov model captures the short term behavior dependent on initial conditions, providing extinction probabilities and the fluctuations around the expected behavior. These analysis techniques provide new insight on the persistence of computer viruses and what strategies should be devised for their control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-266
Number of pages6
JournalPhysics Letters, Section A: General, Atomic and Solid State Physics
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - 13 May 2002


  • Computer virus
  • Differential equation models
  • Markov models


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