1213883_Siegenfeld,A_2022.pdf (591.05 kB)
Modeling Complex Systems: A Case Study of Compartmental Models in Epidemiology
journal contributionposted on 2022-11-04, 01:35 authored by Alexander F Siegenfeld, Pratyush Kumar KolleparaPratyush Kumar Kollepara, Yaneer Bar-Yam
Compartmental epidemic models have been widely used for predicting the course of epidemics, from estimating the basic reproduction number to guiding intervention policies. Studies commonly acknowledge these models’ assumptions but less often justify their validity in the specific context in which they are being used. Our purpose is not to argue for specific alternatives or modifications to compartmental models, but rather to show how assumptions can constrain model outcomes to a narrow portion of the wide landscape of potential epidemic behaviors. This concrete examination of well-known models also serves to illustrate general principles of modeling that can be applied in other contexts.