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Typical SIR model solution showing progression of population disease states for susceptible, infected, and recovered compartments. In this example, the entire population becomes infected and even- tually recovers. 

Typical SIR model solution showing progression of population disease states for susceptible, infected, and recovered compartments. In this example, the entire population becomes infected and even- tually recovers. 

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Agent-based simulation (ABS) is a recent modeling technique that is being widely used in modeling complex social systems. Forrester's System Dynamics (SD) is another longstanding technique for modeling social systems. Several classical models of systems, such as the Kermack-McKendrick model of epidemiology, the Lotka-Volterra equations for modeling...

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... is related to the number of contacts an individual has with other individuals and the likelihood that an infected individuals transmits the infection to a susceptible individual upon contact, γ is the rate at which infected individuals recover from an infection, which is taken as 1/(mean duration of illness), and N is the population size, assumed to be constant in this basic representation. In the standard SIR model, the initial conditions for the population consist of one infected individual and no recovereds. The SIR model is also referred to as the homogeneous mixing model because of three implicit assumptions in the formulation: 1) the population is fully mixed, meaning that individuals with whom a susceptible individual has contacts are chosen at random from the whole population, 2) all individuals have approximately the same number of contacts in the same period of time, and 3) all contacts transmit the disease with the same probability. All infected individuals are assumed to transmit the disease to the same number of people, and the all susceptible people have the same chance of becoming infected. A number called the basic reproduction number R0, which is the initial value of dI/dt, is often used to indi- cate the initial severity of an epidemic. Equation system (1) represents the number of susceptibles that become infected in the time interval ∆ t. Let ∆ S be the number of susceptibles becoming infected in ∆ t. Then, ∆ S = (number of susceptibles, S) × Pr[Susceptible becomes infected in ∆ t], where Pr[Susceptible becomes infected] = Pr[Susceptible contacts an infected] × Pr[infection is transmitted from an Infected to a Susceptible upon contact], where Pr[Susceptible contacts an infected] = (Number of contacts per individual) × Pr[A contacted individual is infected], where Pr[A contacted individual is infected] = I / (Number of individuals in the population, N). Therefore, ∆ S = (Number of susceptibles, S) × (Number of contacts per individual) × I / (Number of individuals in population, N) × Pr[infection is transmitted from an infected individual to a susceptible individual upon contact] ∆ S = S × (number of contacts per individual) × I / N × Pr[infection is transmitted from an infected individual to a susceptible individual upon contact] ∆ S = (Number of contacts per indi- vidual) Pr[infection is transmitted from an infected individual to a susceptible individual upon contact] × S I / N. Hence, as noted by Sterman (2000), β in (1) is a composite of two factors, the number of contacts per individual, β c , and the probability that the infection is transmitted from an infected individual to a susceptible individual upon contact, β I , as in: β = β β (2) Whereas, in (2) the composite of c and i appears in the standard SIR model (1), c and i are treated separately in the agent-based SIR model, Model 2, as described below. Note, in this derivation the number of contacts per individual is assumed to be a constant for all disease states. That is, an infected individual has as many contacts with others as does a susceptible individual. For a constant population size, N = S + I + R. The output of a typical solution of the SIR model in (1) is shown in Figure 1. The three population states (numbers of susceptible, infected, and recovered individuals) are shown as they vary over time. The output shows an epidemic, as the entire population of agents becomes infected and the number of susceptible individuals declines to zero over the course of the simulation. Note, the smooth nature of the curves due to the deterministic nature of the model and the mean- field characterizations of agent interactions. Key statistics that one might be interested in from such a simulation are the peak number of infected individuals and the time at which the peak occurs. For this simulation run with a population size of 1000, the peak number of infected individuals is 593 occurs at time ...

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