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Discrete Models in Epidemiology, Social Sciences, and Population Dynamics

Call for Papers

Complex systems have traditionally been modelled by coupled differential equations which, depending on the particular problem, may give rise to the emergence of different patterns of activity including chaos. Some fields of particular interest are the spread and control of epidemic diseases, the development of vaccination strategies, the social contagion of behavioral patterns or addictions, and the evolution of cell populations in some diseases. These problems generally involve a large number of individuals or cells, each of them with a set of attributes and characteristics that we must take into account for an efficient and realistic modelling of the problem at hand. Targeting specific populations during vaccination campaigns or social groups involved in pernicious addictions can only be adequately simulated by considering discrete models instead of the usual compartmental approach. One way to achieve this goal is by means of defining an underlying discrete structure in which single units, representing the individuals, are connected among each other according to a specific distribution of links, that is, by resorting to the theory of complex networks. Elucidating the real structure of these complex networks in the case of human populations has become a hot topic of fundamental importance for epidemic disease prevention and control.

In a broader perspective, discrete models may involve any technique in which the continuous differential approach is replaced by a formulation in terms of a set of space-time discretized equations. These equations can also be proposed from the start and they provide an alternative to standard analysis, with the additional advantage of being amenable to computer simulations.

The purpose of this special issue is to publish cutting-edge and original research papers addressing recent advances on discrete modelling of interdisciplinary problems in epidemiology, social sciences, and population dynamics. We sought, specially, papers in which the successful application of these mathematical models in a multidisciplinary environment is clearly described.

Potential topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • Random networks in population studies
  • Population behaviour modelling
  • Discrete models in epidemiology of infectious diseases
  • Social models for addictive behavior
  • Discrete mathematical models for cancer growth
  • Models for the regulation of the hematopoietic stem cell populations
  • Discrete modelling for the prevention and control of plagues
  • Network and mathematical models in sociology
  • Competition Lotka-Volterra models for virus strains
  • Discrete fractional calculus applications in epidemiology
  • Structure and modelling of social graphs
  • Discrete approaches to seasonal patterns in epidemic diseases
  • Agent-based modelling in vaccination studies
  • Large scale network modelling for infectious diseases
  • Modelling of online social networks
  • Virus spread in scale-free networks and Internet
  • Collective dynamics of smoking and drug additions
  • Discrete Kermack-McKendrick population models
  • Numerical algorithms for SIRS and related models
  • Models for population migration and evolution
  • Network models for the onset of pandemics
  • Applications of discrete models in population ecology
  • Zoonotic transmitted diseases: compartmental models
  • Models of biodiversity in population ecology

Authors can submit their manuscripts through the Manuscript Tracking System at

Submission DeadlineFriday, 1 September 2017
Publication DateJanuary 2018

Papers are published upon acceptance, regardless of the Special Issue publication date.

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