We propose a theoretical framework for the study of spreading processes in structured metapopulations, with heterogeneous agents, subjected to different recurrent mobility patterns. We propose to represent the heterogeneity in the composition of the metapopulations as layers in a multiplex network, where nodes would correspond to geographical areas and layers account for the mobility patterns of agents of the same class. We analyze classical epidemic models within this framework and obtain an excellent agreement with extensive Monte Carlo simulations. This agreement allows us to derive analytical expressions of the epidemic threshold and to face the challenge of characterizing a real multiplex metapopulation, the city of Medellín in Colombia, where different recurrent mobility patterns are observed depending on the socioeconomic class of the agents. Our framework allows us to unveil the geographical location of those patches that trigger the epidemic state at the critical point. A careful exploration reveals that social mixing between classes and mobility crucially determines these critical patches and, more importantly, it can produce abrupt changes of the critical properties of the epidemic onset.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We acknowledge useful discussions and suggestions by S. Meloni and S. Gmez. Financial support came from MINECO (through Projects No. FIS2017-87519-P, No. FIS2015-71582-C2, and No. FIS2014-55867-P), from the Departamento de Industria e Innovacin del Gobierno de Aragn y Fondo Social Europeo (FENOL group E-19). A.A. acknowledges ICREA Academia and the James S. McDonnell Foundation Grant No. 220020325.
© 2018 authors. Published by the American Physical Society.