Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2009, 6(3): 509-520. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2009.6.509.

Primary: 62P10; Secondary: 92B05.

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Applications of occupancy urn models to epidemiology

1. Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de Colima, Apdo. Postal 25, Colima, Colima
2. Instituto de Innovación y Desarrollo Tecnológico, Universidad de Colima, Apdo. Postal 25, Colima, Colima


This paper shows how occupancy urn models can be used to derive useful results in epidemiology. First we show how simple epidemic models can be re-interpreted in terms of occupancy problems. We use this reformulation to derive an expression for the expected epidemic size, that is, the total number of infected at the end of an outbreak. We also use this approach to derive point and interval estimates of the Basic Reproduction Ratio, $R_{0}$. We show that this construction does not require that the underlying SIR model be a homogeneous Poisson process, leading to a geometric distribution for the number of contacts before removal, but instead it supports a general distribution. The urn model construction is easy to handle and represents a rich field for further exploitation.
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Keywords Urn models; $R_{0}$; basic reproductive ratio; stochastic epidemic models.

Citation: Carlos M. Hernández-Suárez, Oliver Mendoza-Cano. Applications of occupancy urn models to epidemiology. Mathematical Biosciences and Engineering, 2009, 6(3): 509-520. doi: 10.3934/mbe.2009.6.509


This article has been cited by

  • 1. Carlos M. Hernandez-Suarez, David Hiebeler, Modeling species dispersal with occupancy urn models, Theoretical Ecology, 2012, 5, 4, 555, 10.1007/s12080-011-0147-8
  • 2. N. Zoroa, E. Lesigne, M. J. Fernández-Sáez, P. Zoroa, J. Casas, The coupon collector urn model with unequal probabilities in ecology and evolution, Journal of The Royal Society Interface, 2017, 14, 127, 20160643, 10.1098/rsif.2016.0643

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