Multiplex network reconstruction for the coupled spatial diffusion of infodemic and pandemic of COVID-19

Xiaoqi Zhang, Zi Ke Zhang, Wenbo Wang, Donglin Hou, Jiajing Xu, Xinyue Ye, Shengwen Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The pandemic of COVID-19 witnessed a massive infodemic with the public being bombarded with vast quantities of information. The spreading of neutral and highly accurate reports can guide the public to self-protect and reduce the pandemic. Mis- and dis-information would intrigue panic and high exposure risk to epidemic. Although the infodemic has attracted attentions from the academia, it is still not known to what degree and in which direction the information flows contribute to the COVID-19 pandemic. To fill the gap, we apply network reconstruction techniques to rebuild the hidden multiplex network of information and COVID-19 spreading by which we aim at quantifying the interaction between the propagation of information and the spatial outbreak of COVID-19, and delineate between the positive and negative impact of information on the pandemic. By differentiating the types of media that participated in the information process, we find that in the early stage of COVID-19 pandemic, infodemic does play a critical role to amplify the risk of virus outbreak in China and the risk is even larger for those highly developed regions. Compared to the old-fashion media, the new mobile platforms impose a greater risk to reinforce the positive feedback between infodemic and COVID-19 pandemic.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-423
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Digital Earth
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Computer Science Applications
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences


  • COVID-19
  • Infodemic
  • multiplex network
  • spatial social network


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