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New moment closures based on a priori distributions with applications to epidemic dynamics

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 15:16 authored by Istvan Kiss, Péter L Simon
Recently, research that focuses on the rigorous understanding of the relation between simulation and/or exact models on graphs and approximate counterparts has gained lots of momentum. This includes revisiting the performance of classic pairwise models with closures at the level of pairs and/or triples as well as effective-degree-type models and those based on the probability generating function formalism. In this paper, for a fully connected graph and the simple SIS (susceptible-infected-susceptible) epidemic model, a novel closure is introduced. This is done via using the equations for the moments of the distribution describing the number of infecteds at all times combined with the empirical observations that this is well described/approximated by a binomial distribution with time dependent parameters. This assumption allows us to express higher order moments in terms of lower order ones and this leads to a new closure. The significant feature of the new closure is that the difference of the exact system, given by the Kolmogorov equations, from the solution of the newly defined approximate system is of order 1/N 2. This is in contrast with the O(1/N) difference corresponding to the approximate system obtained via the classic triple closure. The fully connected nature of the graph also allows us to interpret pairwise equations in terms of the moments and thus treat closures and the two approximate models within the same framework. Finally, the applicability and limitations of the new methodology is discussed in detail.


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  • Published


Bulletin of Mathematical Biology









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  • Mathematics Publications

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