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Rule-based epidemic models

Waites, W, Cavaliere, M ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4071-6965, Manheim, D, Panovska-Griffiths, J and Danos, V (2021) Rule-based epidemic models. Journal of Theoretical Biology. p. 110851. ISSN 0022-5193

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Rule-based models generalise reaction-based models with reagents that have internal state and may be bound together to form complexes, as in chemistry. An important class of system that would be intractable if expressed as reactions or ordinary differential equations can be efficiently simulated when expressed as rules. In this paper we demonstrate the utility of the rule-based approach for epidemiological modelling presenting a suite of seven models illustrating the spread of infectious disease under different scenarios: wearing masks, infection via fomites and prevention by hand-washing, the concept of vector-borne diseases, testing and contact tracing interventions, disease propagation within motif-structured populations with shared environments such as schools, and superspreading events. Rule-based models allow to combine transparent modelling approach with scalability and compositionality and therefore can facilitate the study of aspects of infectious disease propagation in a richer context than would otherwise be feasible.

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