Matching Items (3)

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Merging Economics and Epidemiology to Improve the Prediction and Management of Infectious Disease

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Mathematical epidemiology, one of the oldest and richest areas in mathematical biology, has significantly enhanced our understanding of how pathogens emerge, evolve, and spread. Classical epidemiological models, the standard for

Mathematical epidemiology, one of the oldest and richest areas in mathematical biology, has significantly enhanced our understanding of how pathogens emerge, evolve, and spread. Classical epidemiological models, the standard for predicting and managing the spread of infectious disease, assume that contacts between susceptible and infectious individuals depend on their relative frequency in the population. The behavioral factors that underpin contact rates are not generally addressed. There is, however, an emerging a class of models that addresses the feedbacks between infectious disease dynamics and the behavioral decisions driving host contact. Referred to as “economic epidemiology” or “epidemiological economics,” the approach explores the determinants of decisions about the number and type of contacts made by individuals, using insights and methods from economics. We show how the approach has the potential both to improve predictions of the course of infectious disease, and to support development of novel approaches to infectious disease management.

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Date Created
  • 2015-12-01

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Resource Consumption, Sustainability, and Cancer

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Preserving a system’s viability in the presence of diversity erosion is critical if the goal is to sustainably support biodiversity. Reduction in population heterogeneity, whether inter- or intraspecies, may increase

Preserving a system’s viability in the presence of diversity erosion is critical if the goal is to sustainably support biodiversity. Reduction in population heterogeneity, whether inter- or intraspecies, may increase population fragility, either decreasing its ability to adapt effectively to environmental changes or facilitating the survival and success of ordinarily rare phenotypes. The latter may result in over-representation of individuals who may participate in resource utilization patterns that can lead to over-exploitation, exhaustion, and, ultimately, collapse of both the resource and the population that depends on it. Here, we aim to identify regimes that can signal whether a consumer–resource system is capable of supporting viable degrees of heterogeneity. The framework used here is an expansion of a previously introduced consumer–resource type system of a population of individuals classified by their resource consumption. Application of the Reduction Theorem to the system enables us to evaluate the health of the system through tracking both the mean value of the parameter of resource (over)consumption, and the population variance, as both change over time. The article concludes with a discussion that highlights applicability of the proposed system to investigation of systems that are affected by particularly devastating overly adapted populations, namely cancerous cells. Potential intervention approaches for system management are discussed in the context of cancer therapies.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2015-02-01

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Computational and analytical mathematical techniques for modeling heterogeneity

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This dissertation is intended to tie together a body of work which utilizes a variety of methods to study applied mathematical models involving heterogeneity often omitted with classical modeling techniques.

This dissertation is intended to tie together a body of work which utilizes a variety of methods to study applied mathematical models involving heterogeneity often omitted with classical modeling techniques. I posit three cogent classifications of heterogeneity: physiological, behavioral, and local (specifically connectivity in this work). I consider physiological heterogeneity using the method of transport equations to study heterogeneous susceptibility to diseases in open populations (those with births and deaths). I then present three separate models of behavioral heterogeneity. An SIS/SAS model of gonorrhea transmission in a population of highly active men-who-have-sex-with-men (MSM) is presented to study the impact of safe behavior (prevention and self-awareness) on the prevalence of this endemic disease. Behavior is modeled in this examples via static parameters describing consistent condom use and frequency of STD testing. In an example of behavioral heterogeneity, in the absence of underlying dynamics, I present a generalization to ``test theory without an answer key" (also known as cultural consensus modeling or CCM). CCM is commonly used to study the distribution of cultural knowledge within a population. The generalized framework presented allows for selecting the best model among various extensions of CCM: multiple subcultures, estimating the degree to which individuals guess yes, and making competence homogenous in the population. This permits model selection based on the principle of information criteria. The third behaviorally heterogeneous model studies adaptive behavioral response based on epidemiological-economic theory within an $SIR$ epidemic setting. Theorems used to analyze the stability of such models with a generalized, non-linear incidence structure are adapted and applied to the case of standard incidence and adaptive incidence. As an example of study in spatial heterogeneity I provide an explicit solution to a generalization of the continuous time approximation of the Albert-Barabasi scale-free network algorithm. The solution is found by recursively solving the differential equations via integrating factors, identifying a pattern for the coefficients and then proving this observed pattern is consistent using induction. An application to disease dynamics on such evolving structures is then studied.

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Created

Date Created
  • 2012