Analysis and Numerical Simulations of Epidemic Models on the Example of COVID-19 and Dengue

  • Scientific and public interest in epidemiology and mathematical modelling of disease spread has increased significantly due to the current COVID-19 pandemic. Political action is influenced by forecasts and evaluations of such models and the whole society is affected by the corresponding countermeasures for containment. But how are these models structured? Which methods can be used to apply them to the respective regions, based on real data sets? These questions are certainly not new. Mathematical modelling in epidemiology using differential equations has been researched for quite some time now and can be carried out mainly by means of numerical computer simulations. These models are constantly being refinded and adapted to corresponding diseases. However, it should be noted that the more complex a model is, the more unknown parameters are included. A meaningful data adaptation thus becomes very diffcult. The goal of this thesis is to design applicable models using the examples of COVID-19 and dengue, to adapt them adequately to real data sets and thus to perform numerical simulations. For this purpose, first the mathematical foundations are presented and a theoretical outline of ordinary differential equations and optimization is provided. The parameter estimations shall be performed by means of adjoint functions. This procedure represents a combination of static and dynamical optimization. The objective function corresponds to a least squares method with L2 norm which depends on the searched parameters. This objective function is coupled to constraints in the form of ordinary differential equations and numerically minimized, using Pontryagin's maximum (minimum) principle and optimal control theory. In the case of dengue, due to the transmission path via mosquitoes, a model reduction of an SIRUV model to an SIR model with time-dependent transmission rate is performed by means of time-scale separation. The SIRUV model includes uninfected (U) and infected (V ) mosquito compartments in addition to the susceptible (S), infected (I) and recovered (R) human compartments, known from the SIR model. The unknwon parameters of the reduced SIR model are estimated using data sets from Colombo (Sri Lanka) and Jakarta (Indonesia). Based on this parameter estimation the predictive power of the model is checked and evaluated. In the case of Jakarta, the model is additionally provided with a mobility component between the individual city districts, based on commuter data. The transmission rates of the SIR models are also dependent on meteorological data as correlations between these and dengue outbreaks have been demonstrated in previous data analyses. For the modelling of COVID-19 we use several SEIRD models which in comparison to the SIR model also take into account the latency period and the number of deaths via exposed (E) and deaths (D) compartments. Based on these models a parameter estimation with adjoint functions is performed for the location Germany. This is possible because since the beginning of the pandemic, the cumulative number of infected persons and deaths are published daily by Johns Hopkins University and the Robert-Koch-Institute. Here, a SEIRD model with a time delay regarding the deaths proves to be particularly suitable. In the next step, this model is used to compare the parameter estimation via adjoint functions with a Metropolis algorithm. Analytical effort, accuracy and calculation speed are taken into account. In all data fittings, one parameter each is determined to assess the estimated number of unreported cases.

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Author:Peter Heidrich
Referee:Thomas Götz
Advisor:Thomas Götz
Document Type:Doctoral Thesis
Date of completion:2021/04/07
Date of publication:2021/04/12
Publishing institution:Universität Koblenz, Universitätsbibliothek
Granting institution:Universität Koblenz, Fachbereich 3
Date of final exam:2021/03/29
Release Date:2021/04/12
Tag:adjoint functions; covid-19; dengue; epidemiology; modelling; numerical simulation; optimal control; optimization; parameter estimation
Number of pages:xi, 179
Institutes:Fachbereich 3 / Mathematisches Institut
Licence (German):License LogoEs gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht: § 53 UrhG