Kinetic and macroscopic epidemic models in presence of multiple heterogeneous populations

A. Medaglia, M. Zanella

Preprint arXiv, 2021.

We study the impact of contact heterogeneity on epidemic dynamics. A system characterized by multiple susceptible populations is considered. The description of the spread of an infectious disease is obtained through the study of a system of Boltzmann-type equations for the number densities of social contacts of the introduced compartments. A macroscopic system of equations characterizing observable effects of the epidemic is then derived to assess the impact of contact heterogeneity.

Uncertainty quantification and control of kinetic models for tumour growth under clinical uncertainties

A. Medaglia, G. Colelli, L. Farina, A. Bacila, P. Bini, E. Marchioni, S. Figini, A. Pichiecchio, M. Zanella

Preprint arXiv, 2021.

In this work, we develop a kinetic model for tumour growth taking into account the effects of clinical uncertainties characterising the tumours’ progression. The action of therapeutic protocols trying to steer the tumours’ volume towards a target size is then investigated by means of suitable selective-type controls acting at the level of cellular dynamics. By means of classical tools of statistical mechanics for many-agent systems, we are able to prove that it is possible to dampen clinical uncertainties across the scales. To take into account the scarcity of clinical data and the possible source of error in the image segmentation of tumours’ evolution, we estimated empirical distributions of relevant parameters that are considered to calibrate the resulting model obtained from real cases of primary glioblastoma. Suitable numerical methods for uncertainty quantification of the resulting kinetic equations are discussed and, in the last part of the paper, we compare the effectiveness of the introduced control approaches in reducing the variability in tumours’ size due to the presence of uncertain quantities.

A multi-agent description of the influence of higher education on social stratification

G. Dimarco, G. Toscani, M. Zanella. 

Preprint arXiv, 2021.

We introduce and discuss a system of one-dimensional kinetic equations describing the influence of higher education in the social stratification of a multi-agent society. The system is obtained by coupling a model for knowledge formation with a kinetic description of the social climbing in which the parameters characterizing the elementary interactions leading to the formation of a social elite are assumed to depend on the degree of knowledge/education of the agents. In addition, we discuss the case in which the education level of an individual is function of the position occupied in the social ranking. With this last assumption we obtain a fully coupled model in which knowledge and social status influence each other. In the last part, we provide several numerical experiments highlighting the role of education in reducing social inequalities and in promoting social mobility.

Kinetic modelling of epidemic dynamics: social contacts, control with uncertain data, and multiscale spatial dynamics

G. Albi, G. Bertaglia, W. Boscheri, G. Dimarco, L. Pareschi, G. Toscani, M. Zanella

Preprint arXiv, 2021

In this survey we report some recent results in the mathematical modeling of epidemic phenomena through the use of kinetic equations. We initially consider models of interaction between agents in which social characteristics play a key role in the spread of an epidemic, such as the age of individuals, the number of social contacts, and their economic wealth. Subsequently, for such models, we discuss the possibility of containing the epidemic through an appropriate optimal control formulation based on the policy maker’s perception of the progress of the epidemic. The role of uncertainty in the data is also discussed and addressed. Finally, the kinetic modeling is extended to spatially dependent settings using multiscale transport models that can characterize the impact of movement dynamics on epidemic advancement on both one-dimensional networks and realistic two-dimensional geographic settings.

Optimal control of epidemic spreading in presence of social heterogeneity

G. Dimarco, G. Toscani, M. Zanella

Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, in press. Preprint arXiv, 2021.

The spread of COVID-19 has been thwarted in most countries through non-pharmaceutical interventions. In particular, the most effective measures in this direction have been the stay-at-home and closure strategies of businesses and schools. However, population-wide lockdowns are far from being optimal carrying  heavy economic consequences. Therefore, there is nowadays a strong interest in designing more efficient restrictions. In this work, starting from a recent  kinetic-type model which takes into account the heterogeneity described by the social contact of individuals, we analyze the effects of introducing an optimal control strategy into the system, to limit selectively the mean number of contacts and reduce consequently the number of infected cases. Thanks to a data-driven approach, we show that this new mathematical model permits to assess the effects of the social limitations.  Finally, using the model introduced here and starting from the available data, we show the effectivity of the proposed selective measures to dampen the epidemic trends

On a class of Fokker–Planck equations with subcritical confinement

G. Toscani, M. Zanella

Atti Accad. Naz. Lincei Rend. Lincei Mat. Appl., in press. Preprint arXiv.

We study the relaxation to equilibrium for a class linear one-dimensional Fokker–Planck equations characterized by a particular subcritical confinement potential.
An interesting feature of this class of Fokker–Planck equations is that, for any given probability density $e(x)$, the diffusion coefficient can be built to have $e(x)$ as steady state. This representation of the equilibrium density can be fruitfully used to obtain one-dimensional Wirtinger-type inequalities and to recover, for a sufficiently regular density $e(x) $, a polynomial rate of convergence to equilibrium.Numerical results then confirm the theoretical analysis, and allow to conjecture that convergence to equilibrium with positive rate still holds for steady states characterized by a very slow polynomial decay at infinity.

A data-driven epidemic model with social structure for understanding the COVID-19 infection on a heavily affected Italian Province

M. Azzi, C. Bardelli, S. Deandrea, G. Dimarco, S. Figini, P. Perotti, G. Toscani, M. Zanella

Math. Mod. Meth. Appl. Sci., in press. Preprint arXiv.

In this work, using a detailed dataset furnished by National Health Authorities concerning the Province of Pavia (Lombardy, Italy), we propose to determine the essential features of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in term of contact dynamics. Our contribution is devoted to provide a possible planning of the needs of medical infrastructures in the Pavia Province and to suggest different scenarios about the vaccination campaign which possibly help in reducing the fatalities and/or reducing the number of infected in the population.
The proposed research combines a new mathematical description of the spread of an infectious diseases which takes into account both age and average daily social contacts with a detailed analysis of the dataset of all traced infected individuals in the Province of Pavia. These information are used to develop a data-driven model in which calibration and feeding of the model are extensively used. The epidemiological evolution is obtained by relying on an approach based on statical mechanics. This leads to study the evolution over time of a system of probability distributions characterizing the age and social contacts of the population. One of the main outcomes shows that, as expected, the spread of the disease is closely related to the mean number of contacts of individuals. The model permits to forecast thanks to an uncertainty quantification approach and in the short time horizon, the average number and the confidence bands of expected hospitalized classified by age and to test different options for an effective vaccination campaign with age-decreasing priority.

Mean-field control variate methods for kinetic equations with uncertainties and applications to socio-economic sciences

L. Pareschi, T. Trimborn, M. Zanella

International Journal for Uncertainty Quantification, 12(1): 61-84, 2022. Preprint arXiv, 2021.

In this paper, we extend a recently introduced multi-fidelity control variate for the uncertainty quantification of the Boltzmann equation to the case of kinetic models arising in the study of multiagent systems. For these phenomena, where the effect of uncertainties is particularly evident, several models have been developed whose equilibrium states are typically unknown. In particular, we aim to develop efficient numerical methods based on solving the kinetic equations in the phase space by Direct Simulation Monte Carlo (DSMC) coupled to a Monte Carlo sampling in the random space. To this end, exploiting the knowledge of the corresponding mean-field approximation we develop novel mean-field Control Variate (MFCV) methods that are able to strongly reduce the variance of the standard Monte Carlo sampling method in the random space. We verify these observations with several numerical examples based on classical models , including wealth exchanges and opinion formation model for collective phenomena.

Kinetic derivation of Aw-Rascle-Zhang-type traffic models with driver-assist vehicles

G. Dimarco, A. Tosin, M. Zanella

Preprint arXiv, 2021.

In this paper, we derive second order hydrodynamic traffic models from kinetic-controlled equations for driver-assist vehicles. At the vehicle level we take into account two main control strategies synthesising the action of adaptive cruise controls and cooperative adaptive cruise controls. The resulting macroscopic dynamics fulfil the anisotropy condition introduced in the celebrated Aw-Rascle-Zhang model. Unlike other models based on heuristic arguments, our approach unveils the main physical aspects behind frequently used hydrodynamic traffic models and justifies the structure of the resulting macroscopic equations incorporating driver-assist vehicles. Numerical insights show that the presence of driver-assist vehicles produces an aggregate homogenisation of the mean flow speed, hich may also be steered towards a suitable desired speed in such a way that optimal flows and traffic stabilisation are reached


Kinetic-controlled hydrodynamics for multilane traffic models

R. Borsche, A. Klar, M. Zanella

Physica A: Statistical Mechanics and its Applications, 587: 126486, 2022. (Preprint arXiv)

We study the application of a recently introduced hierarchical description of traffic flow control by driver-assist vehicles to include lane changing dynamics. Lane-dependent feedback control strategies are implemented at the level of vehicles and the aggregate trends are studied by means of Boltzmann-type equations determining three different hydrodynamics based on the lane switching frequency. System of first order macroscopic equations describing the evolution of densities along the lanes are then consistently determined through a suitable closure strategy. Numerical examples are then presented to illustrate the features of the proposed hierarchical approach.