Publication Details

Perez, P., Ratna, N., Dray, A., Grafton, Q., Newth, D. & Kompas, T. (2005). Diffusion and social networks: revisiting medical innovation with agents. Proceeding of the International Congress on Modelling and Simulation (pp. 1639-1645).


the classic study on diffusion of Tetracycline by Coleman, Katz and Menzel (1966). Medical Innovation articulates how different patterns of interpersonal communications can influence the diffusion process at different stages of adoption. In their pioneering study, individual network (discussion, friendship or advice) was perceived as a set of disjointed pairs, and the extent of influences were therefore, evaluated for pairs of individuals. Given the existence of overlapping networks and consequent influences on doctors’ adoption decisions, the complexity of actual events was not captured by pair analysis. Subsequent reanalyses (Burt 1987, Strang and Tuma 1993, Valente 1995, Van den Bulte and Lilien 2001) failed to capture the complexity involved in the diffusion process and had a static exposure of the network structure. In this paper, for the first time, we address these limitations by combining Agent-Based Modeling (ABM) and network analysis.

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