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Modeling stochasticity: the use of moment closure techniques.
Keeling, Matt*,1, 1 Dept of Biological Sciences, Coventry, West Midlands, West Midlands
ABSTRACT- Ecologists and epidemiologists are increasingly focusing on stochasticity and spatial heterogeneity as important biological factors. With high-powered computers simulation of such systems is a common modelling technique, however we lack a detailed understanding of the processes involved. Moment closure approximations provide a simple method which can be used to capture the main features of a wide variety of stochastic models and to gain a more intuitive understanding. This presentation focuses on the insights gained from such techniques, and in particular focuses on the behaviour and persistence of finite metapopulations for two common ecological systems: a single species with density dependent growth, and an enemy-victim interaction with epidemiological dynamics.
Key words: disease, correlations, stochasticity, moment closure