Recursive contact tracing in Reed-Frost epidemic models

Saumya Shivam, Vir B. Bulchandani, S. L. Sondhi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


We introduce a Reed-Frost epidemic model with recursive contact tracing and asymptomatic transmission. This generalizes the branching-process model introduced by the authors in a previous work (Bulchandani et al 2021Phys. Biol.18045004) to finite populations and general contact networks. We simulate the model numerically for two representative examples, the complete graph and the square lattice. On both networks, we observe clear signatures of a contact-tracing phase transition from an 'epidemic phase' to an 'immune phase' as contact-network coverage is increased. We verify that away from the singular line of perfect tracing, the finite-size scaling of the contact-tracing phase transition on each network lies in the corresponding percolation universality class. Finally, we use the model to quantify the efficacy of recursive contact-tracing in regimes where epidemic spread is not contained.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 12 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Molecular Biology
  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Cell Biology


  • COVID-19
  • contact tracing
  • epidemic models


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