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Proceedings Paper

Stochastic epidemic outbreaks: why epidemics are like lasers
Author(s): Ira B Schwartz; Lora Billings
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Paper Abstract

Many diseases, such as childhood diseases, dengue fever, and West Nile virus, appear to oscillate randomly as a function of seasonal environmental or social changes. Such oscillations appear to have a chaotic bursting character, although it is still uncertain how much is due to random fluctuations. Such bursting in the presence of noise is also observed in driven lasers. In this talk, I will show how noise can excite random outbreaks in simple models of seasonally driven outbreaks, as well as lasers. The models for both population dynamics will be shown to share the same class of underlying topology, which plays a major role in the cause of observed stochastic bursting.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 May 2004
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 5471, Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics II, (25 May 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.547642
Show Author Affiliations
Ira B Schwartz, Naval Research Lab. (United States)
Lora Billings, Montclair State Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5471:
Noise in Complex Systems and Stochastic Dynamics II
Zoltan Gingl, Editor(s)

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