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A unified prediction of computer virus spread in connected networks

Lora Billings, William Spears, Ira Schwartz
Physics Letters A, 297 (2002) pp.261-266
ISSN 0375-9601
May 2002

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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.

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