Extinction of an infectious disease: A large fluctuation in a nonequilibrium system

Condensed Matter journal club

Extinction of an infectious disease: A large fluctuation in a nonequilibrium system

  • Event time: 11:30am
  • Event date: 27th March 2009
  • Speaker: Alasdair Thompson (Formerly School of Physics & Astronomy, University of Edinburgh)
  • Location: Room 2511,

Event details

Abstract

We develop a theory of first passage processes in stochastic nonequilibrium systems of birth-death type using two closely related epidemiological models as examples. Our method employs the probability generating function technique in conjunction with the eikonal approximation. In this way the problem is reduced to finding the optimal path to extinction: a heteroclinic trajectory of an effective multidimensional classical Hamiltonian system. We compute this trajectory and mean extinction time of the disease numerically and uncover a nonmonotone, spiral path to extinction of a disease. We also obtain analytical results close to a bifurcation.
href={http://dx.doi.org/ 10.1103/PhysRevE.77.061107}>Phys. Rev E 77 061107 (2008)

Authors

Alex Kamenev and Baruch Meerson