Analysis of the Impact of Mask-wearing in Viral Spread: Implications for COVID-19

Yurun Tian, Anirudh Sridhar, Osman Yagan, H. Vincent Poor

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Scopus citations


Masks are used as part of a comprehensive strategy of measures to limit transmission and save lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. Research about the impact of mask-wearing in the COVID-19 pandemic has raised formidable interest across multiple disciplines. In this paper, we investigate the impact of mask-wearing in spreading processes over complex networks. This is done by studying a heterogeneous bond percolation process over a multi-type network model, where nodes can be one of two types (mask-wearing, and not-mask-wearing). We provide analytical results that accurately predict the expected epidemic size and probability of emergence as functions of the characteristics of the spreading process (e.g., transmission probabilities, inward and outward efficiency of the masks, etc.), the proportion of mask-wearers in the population, and the structure of the underlying contact network. In addition to the theoretical analysis, we also conduct extensive simulations on random networks. We also comment on the analogy between the mask-model studied here and the multiple-strain viral spreading model with mutations studied recently by Eletreby et al.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9781665441971
StatePublished - May 25 2021
Externally publishedYes
Event2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021 - Virtual, New Orleans, United States
Duration: May 25 2021May 28 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the American Control Conference
ISSN (Print)0743-1619


Conference2021 American Control Conference, ACC 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityVirtual, New Orleans

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Analysis of the Impact of Mask-wearing in Viral Spread: Implications for COVID-19'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this