Individual�based stochastic spatial models

Steve Krone (June 25, 2012)

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We will work through some of the basic ideas involved in modeling various types of interactions in spatial population biology using interacting particle systems (sometimes referred to as stochastic cellular automata). Some of the essential ingredients and behaviors come from simple models like the contact process and the voter model. These components can be combined and tweaked to obtain models with more biological detail, including epidemic behavior for host-pathogen systems, the spread of antibiotic resistance genes, etc. These models can be informative since real biological populations exhibit a high degree of spatial structure and this structure affects the interactions between individuals and species in ways that can dramatically alter dynamics compared to well-mixed systems. The computer exercises will allow students to alter some existing MATLAB code to simulate various processes. A preview of these models can be found in the WinSSS software that can be downloaded from Steve Krone's webpage.