Heterogeneous mixing fundamentally changes the dynamics of infectious diseases; finding ways to incorporate it into models represents a critical challenge. Phenomenological approaches are deficient in their lack of attention to underlying processes; individual-based models, on the other hand, may obscure the essential interactions in a sea of detail. The challenge then is to find ways to bridge these levels of description, starting from individual-based models and deriving macroscopic descriptions from them that retain essential detail, and filter out the rest. In this paper, attempts to achieve this transformation are described for a class of models where non-random mixing arises from the spatial localization of interactions. In general, the epidemic threshold is found to be larger owing to spatial localization than for a homogeneously mixing population. An improved estimate of the dynamics is developed by the use of moment equations, and a simple estimate of the threshold in terms of a 'dyad heuristic'. For more general models in which local infection is not described by mass action, the connection with related partial differential equations is investigated.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences|
|State||Published - Jan 1 1996|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)