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Complex networks are networks that feature patterns of connection between their elements that are neither purely regular nor purely random. Most real-world networks, such as transportation, social or gene-regulatory networks, are complex.
Research now shows that human social networks surrounding a person who unexpectedly dies recover from the loss through strengthening of the relationships between friends and acquaintances of the deceased individual. The study demonstrates how individuals change their interaction patterns to support one another during a time of grief.
Intuition informs a widespread policy of epidemic response, replacing infected workers in classrooms or hospitals with healthy substitutes. But modelling now suggests that this mechanism may be a key factor in the accelerated spread of an epidemic.