Stochastic models for epidemics
This chapter provides an overview of stochastic models for epidemics, focusing on topics that have preoccupied researchers for the last 15 years, and identifying continuing challenges. After some historical background and a brief account of basic deterministic models for transmission of infectious diseases, the principles of stochastic modeling of epidemics in homogeneous populations are outlined. The chapter then discusses the complications that arise owing to heterogeneity of host population, of mixing within the population, and of the network among the population, due for example to its social or spatial structure. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of statistical issues.
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