Working Paper Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

A Power-Law-Based Approach to Mapping COVID-19 Cases in the United States

Version 1 : Received: 21 July 2020 / Approved: 25 July 2020 / Online: 25 July 2020 (11:48:05 CEST)

How to cite: Jiang, B.; de Rijke, C. A Power-Law-Based Approach to Mapping COVID-19 Cases in the United States. Preprints 2020, 2020070607 Jiang, B.; de Rijke, C. A Power-Law-Based Approach to Mapping COVID-19 Cases in the United States. Preprints 2020, 2020070607

Abstract

This paper examines the spatial and temporal distribution of all COVID-19 cases from January to June 2020 against the underlying distribution of population in the United States. It is found that, as time passes, COVID-19 cases become a power law with cut-off, resembling the underlying spatial distribution of populations. The power law implies that many states and counties have a low number of cases, while only a few highly populated states and counties have a high number of cases. To further differentiate patterns between the underlying populations and COVID-19 cases, we derived their inherent hierarchy characterized by the ht-index. We found that the ht-index of COVID-19 cases persistently approaches that of the populations; that is, 5 and 7 at the state and county levels, respectively. Mapping the ht-index of COVID-19 cases against that of populations provides new insights into the development of the pandemic in the United States.

Subject Areas

Power laws; head/tail breaks; hierarchy; ht-index; COVID-19

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